TeachersFirst's BYOD Dream Tools: Free Tools that Work on ANY device!

Other TeachersFirst Special Topics Collections

This collection of reviewed tools from TeachersFirst includes apps that are available for FREE on iOS (iPad, iPhone), Android, and web devices. Ideal for BYOD classrooms or 1:1 computer/tablet programs, these reviewed tools allow users to create and access projects using the same app, no matter what kind of device they have.

This collection includes only "DATs" (device agnostic tools) that are FREE on all devices and offer free access with sufficient features to be useful without upgrading to a paid account. Whether you call it an "app" or a "web tool," a DAT allows you to access your projects from almost any device. 

Be sure to read the "Edge Features" list at the end of each review to know whether you need to create individual accounts, how products can be shared,  and other tips on using these DATs safely and within school policies.

Even the best DAT has slight differences in capabilities on different devices. Encourage your students to share what they discover about additional or missing features on each type of device. your class will quickly appoint tool experts for each app! 

TeachersFirst encourages our members (membership is FREE) to add comments and ratings to help other teachers and students trying these tools. Apps change quickly, so we welcome your comments on any changes that may occur to these tools and their free status.

(image credit: Jeremy Keith)

 

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Bitmoji - Bitstrips Inc

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
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 (117), DAT device agnostic tool (176), emotions (38), faces (4), images (268)

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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Microsoft Translator for Education - 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 into the conversation on their device using the Translator website or app. There are two options: click on the conversation option to start a conversation, and then speak or type your words - participants on the other end hear and view text in their desired language. Option 2 is to click on the text option to translate text. 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. At the time of this review Translator works in 10 languages and 100 people can participate in one conversation.

tag(s): chinese (49), DAT device agnostic tool (176), french (86), german (62), greek (41), hebrew (19), italian (35), japanese (45), Microsoft (59), russian (26), spanish (108)

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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Wakelet - Jamil Khalil

Grades
K to 12
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Create, curate, and share web content with Wakelet. Save online links including articles, videos, tweets, and more then organize them into collections called wakes. Share collections...more
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Create, curate, and share web content with Wakelet. Save online links including articles, videos, tweets, and more then organize them into collections called wakes. Share collections with a personalized link or use the embed code to embed anywhere online. Use the keyword search to explore and view wakes created by other Wakelet members. Save information from other wakes to your account for use in your own wakes. To make your wakes more distinctive add a cover image, background, and choose the layout you prefer.

tag(s): bookmarks (62), collaboration (48), DAT device agnostic tool (176), news (259), social media (38), social networking (96)

In the Classroom

The possibilities for using Wakelet in the classroom are endless! Create collections with tips for writing in different genres, current events, information about specific countries or cities, math games, and much more. Have students set up their own wakes as part of a research project. Put together a wake scavenger hunt to introduce a new unit or as a review at the end of a unit. Share wakes on your class web page for student use at home to review and practice class content. Having the ability to have a cover image and background for your wakes makes them much more interesting and easily identifiable, especially for young or visual students!

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MathGames - TeachMe, Inc.

Grades
K to 8
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MathGames offers a large variety of math games and interactive questions for grades preK-8 all fully aligned to Common Core Standards. Choose a grade to start, or choose by skills....more
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MathGames offers a large variety of math games and interactive questions for grades preK-8 all fully aligned to Common Core Standards. Choose a grade to start, or choose by skills. Other options allow users to choose by grade level standards. Registration isn't necessary to play individual games; however, enrollment as a teacher provides additional features. Input your class to receive detailed progress reports as well as leaderboards and student competitions.

tag(s): addition (224), charts and graphs (203), DAT device agnostic tool (176), differentiation (52), division (157), equations (156), estimation (47), fractions (231), game based learning (146), geometric shapes (168), measurement (181), mental math (27), multiples (31), multiplication (210), patterns (87), preK (284), ratios (66), statistics (130), subtraction (186), time (139)

In the Classroom

MathGames is perfect for practice with many different math concepts. Include a link to games on your class website or classroom computers. Be sure to share games with parents for play at home. Take advantage of the free registration to register your class to follow student progress and challenge students to increase scores. Ask students to write blog entries replacing pen and paper and sharing their learning and understanding for each game using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration. If you are teaching younger students and looking for an easy way to integrate technology and check for understanding, challenge your students to create a blog using Edublog, reviewed here. Take this a step further enhance students' learning by to picking the game they learned the most from and make a feature video about it using Biteable, reviewed here. Biteable claims to be "the world's simplest video maker," and they may be right. If you teach using Common Core Standards, this site is excellent for finding practice activities aligned to the standards. Measure student growth for Common Core Standards using Edulastic, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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HP Reveal - Aurasma

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Intrigued about Augmented Reality? Use this augmented reality application to overlay any image or video over top of an image uploaded from your computer. The next step is to upload...more
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Intrigued about Augmented Reality? Use this augmented reality application to overlay any image or video over top of an image uploaded from your computer. The next step is to upload the video you want to include as the overlay. Save and share your using the links provided. Demo tutorials on this provide additional information for creating and sharing.

tag(s): augmented reality (5), DAT device agnostic tool (176), images (268)

In the Classroom

Use this tool for Word Walls, overlaying images of the words or videos showing the words in action when they are scanned. Create overlays of diagrammed pictures, revealing more information for each of the elements labeled. For example, add more information about parts of the human body, elements in the periodic table, works of various artists/musicians, or battles in a war. Create an interactive journal or newspaper with simple headlines. For example, create a headline of "School play a definite smash!" and overlay a video of the play using the app. Create a poster of school rules or laboratory safety. Consider assigning groups of students the task of acting out the rules to overlay on the interactive poster. As students work towards completing material for a class, create video words of encouragement or advice to play at key points of the assignment. Or, add additional information at various points, inspired by past or present student questions about how the information relates to life. Bring the outside world in by taking videos of professionals to play when reading stories in class.

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Asana - Dustin Moskovitz and Justin Rosenstein

Grades
K to 12
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Asana is an easy to use tool for organizing projects and tasks as a team or group. Register with your work email address to be connected as a team. If ...more
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Asana is an easy to use tool for organizing projects and tasks as a team or group. Register with your work email address to be connected as a team. If you don't have a work email, no problem, use your regular email address. Once registered, create a project and divide into tasks. Assign tasks to team members and set due dates. Follow updates and progress in real time. Free accounts offer unlimited tasks and projects for up to 15 team members.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (176), organizational skills (118)

In the Classroom

Create an account to use with students as a tool for organizing and collaborating on group projects. Asana makes it easy for all users to view overall progress on each task. Use Asana to help students remain on track with project deadlines; encourage older students to create their own account and set up groups for projects. Use this tool to collaborate with colleagues for use with professional projects such as unit planning and long-term scheduling.

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Class123 - Choong Hee Lee

Grades
K to 6
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Class123 is a classroom management tool containing several features for organizing classrooms and communicating with students and parents. Tools include a timer, seating chart, attendance...more
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Class123 is a classroom management tool containing several features for organizing classrooms and communicating with students and parents. Tools include a timer, seating chart, attendance manager, random name picker, and more. Sign up for free to add your rosters and avatars. Parents and students sign up with a code provided. Once enrolled, members receive or send communications privately or within groups. Please be aware that Class123 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 Class123 with their child.

tag(s): behavior (45), classroom management (156), communication (15), DAT device agnostic tool (176), parents (53)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to communicate specific behaviors with parents - both positive and negative feedback. Share this site with students on the first day of school as you go over class expectations and your behavior plan for your classroom. Take advantage of the other tools to take attendance or rearrange your seating chart quickly and easily.

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Intergalactic Mobile Learning Center - Intergalactic Mobile Learning Center

Grades
K to 9
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ntergalactic Mobile Learning Center is a set of five mobile apps for use in elementary and middle school collaborative learning situations. The apps include a spreadsheet, word processor,...more
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ntergalactic Mobile Learning Center is a set of five mobile apps for use in elementary and middle school collaborative learning situations. The apps include a spreadsheet, word processor, KWL tool, whiteboard, and a mind mapping tool. Two or more students work together using their own devices to collaborate on any project either face to face or from a distance. In addition to the apps, the site also offers a few starter activities, called Roadmaps for download. Apps use Google logins and work best in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari browsers. The demonstration videos reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): collaboration (48), DAT device agnostic tool (176)

In the Classroom

Be sure to watch the videos on the homepage for an overview of the apps in action. Download ntergalactic Mobile Learning Center for use in your class for any collaborative project. Ask students to work in small groups to draw landforms or the water cycle in science class, gather data and create a spreadsheet for math, work together to write a story summary or share information on a KWL before the start of a new unit.

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CoSpaces - Delightex GmbH

Grades
4 to 12
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Build your own 3D spaces using CoSpaces, then view in virtual reality. Choose from the large library of items to include in your creation including characters and objects. To get ...more
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Build your own 3D spaces using CoSpaces, then view in virtual reality. Choose from the large library of items to include in your creation including characters and objects. To get a sense of how this works, visit the gallery to view creations built by CoSpace users. Register to create your account to start building your own 3D space. Be sure to visit the section for educators with many ideas on how to use CoSpaces in the classroom. Tutorials for CoSpaces reside on YouTube. 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 Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): creativity (117), DAT device agnostic tool (176), digital storytelling (141)

In the Classroom

Recreate scenes from books or use CoSpaces to retell any story with 3D images. Encourage creativity and ask students to develop virtual exhibitions of artwork, animal habitats, or landforms. Have older students create infographics featuring data collections, for example comparing availability of Internet in different American towns.

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ClassTag - Vlada Lotkina and Jason Olim

Grades
K to 12
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ClassTag is a cloud-based management system for teachers to engage parents in their classroom community. Instead of parents signing up, teachers add emails to send out invitations to...more
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ClassTag is a cloud-based management system for teachers to engage parents in their classroom community. Instead of parents signing up, teachers add emails to send out invitations to participate. All included emails receive notice of updates and information even without signing up. ClassTag allows teachers to view who has read announcements and other pertinent information. Another option allows teachers to send out a weekly newsletter including personal notes and updates.

tag(s): chat (46), classroom management (156), communication (15), DAT device agnostic tool (176), parent conferences (24), parents (53)

In the Classroom

Create a free account to use for all your classes, and even your extracurricular activities. Use this tool to send homework, project, and supply reminders. Remind parents of upcoming events, practices, or items students need to bring to class or practice. Remind parents of big tests, report cards, field trips, deadlines, back to school night, sneaker days, conferences, and more. Set up a faculty reminder group within your school for emergency closures and more.

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Flipgrid - Charlie Miller & Brad Hosack

Grades
2 to 12
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Flipgrid joined with Microsoft and now everything is FREE! Flipgrid is a video discussion tool with capabilities for sharing student responses through video. Click the Educator Login...more
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Flipgrid joined with Microsoft and now everything is FREE! Flipgrid is a video discussion tool with capabilities for sharing student responses through video. Click the Educator Login and then create an account from there. Begin by creating a grid and personalizing settings to fit your needs. Easy-to-follow directions guide you through the process of setting up a video response. When finished, use links to share the URL or embed your Flipgrid into a website. Students access your Flipgrid using the access code provided when sharing your topic. Be sure to investigate ideas from other educators. If you want your class to go global scroll down the page and check out the #GridPals resource and the GridPals guide.

tag(s): assessment (123), DAT device agnostic tool (176), Microsoft (59), video (263)

In the Classroom

Flipgrid is a versatile tool for use in any subject. Create prompts for students to respond to about anything and everything. Challenge students to reflect on their learning at the end of a unit, research project, or literature circle. Here are just a few example questions to ask: What are some things you did well on this assignment? What mistakes did you make on your last assignment that you did not make on today's assignment? What would you do differently? What would you like to learn more about?

For professional use, create a topic for peers to discuss. Ideas might include discussing concerns with implementing new technology or curriculum. Have fellow teachers share articles of interest from professional journals. Use Flipgrid to implement a book talk on a topic of interest.

Use Flipgrid as a follow-up for a flipped or blended learning assignment. Ask students to explain what they understand and/or still don't understand about a concept. You can review the responses before class the next day. Use it as an exit "slip" before students leave class or as a warm up at the beginning of class (what do they remember about the lesson taught yesterday). World language students can practice speaking in their new language and choose the best video to turn into their teacher. Student or teacher can explain a series of steps in an assignment or concept, one at a time (great for differentiation). Math students can explain the steps they took to solve a problem and why. Art students can explain a creation, either theirs or a famous artists - talking about techniques. Music students can perform and explain their learning, or reflect on their performance.

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Playbuzz - Shaul Olmert and Tom Pachys

Grades
9 to 12
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Create and share interactive content with Playbuzz. Browse through to find and participate in polls, quizzes, trivia, and much more. Additional free features include a Video Snaps tool...more
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Create and share interactive content with Playbuzz. Browse through to find and participate in polls, quizzes, trivia, and much more. Additional free features include a Video Snaps tool for sharing portions of a video and Flip Cards. Create an account, then make content to embed and engage with other participants. Warning: this site contains content that is not moderated, be sure to view information before sharing with students.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (176), flash cards (40), polls and surveys (48), quiz (75), trivia (21), video (263)

In the Classroom

Share Playbuzz with students to create interactive classroom content. Have students create polls for favorite characters in books, use the Video Snaps tool to share significant portions of a video, or use Flip Cards in place of traditional flash cards. Create interactive content for your classroom lessons including trivia to introduce new lessons or create a Gallery Quiz to match images to clues. The possibilities are as unlimited as your imagination and those of your students!

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Simplenote - automattic.com

Grades
K to 12
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Simplenote is a note-taking tool that updates information across all of your devices. Download the app for mobile devices and onto PCs. Notes update immediately, no need to save. Use...more
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Simplenote is a note-taking tool that updates information across all of your devices. Download the app for mobile devices and onto PCs. Notes update immediately, no need to save. Use the scroll bar to go back in time and find notes from a previous time. Use tags or search to find notes created. Simplenote also allows for collaboration with other users.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (176), organizational skills (118)

In the Classroom

Use Simplenote for all notes and ideas in all aspects of your busy life. Keep your file system with you all of the time! Instruct students in the use of Simplenote for notetaking needs. Share outlines and study guides with students. All members can collaborate and add thoughts. Offer as a way to improve organizational skills.

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Baamboozle - baamboozle.com

Grades
K to 12
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Baamboozle is a quick and easy-to-use tool for playing and creating games. It doesn't require registration to play. Choose the "Play games now" link to go to all games saved ...more
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Baamboozle is a quick and easy-to-use tool for playing and creating games. It doesn't require registration to play. Choose the "Play games now" link to go to all games saved on Baamboozle. Scroll through to view games, or search for a term. Divide the group into two teams and begin play. Each team chooses a number from the game board and answers the question. Check for accuracy; then, Baamboozle keeps track of scores. Use games found on the site, or create games on any device. Registration with email is necessary to create your own games.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (176), flash cards (40), game based learning (146), preK (284)

In the Classroom

Save Baamboozle in your bag of tricks for a quick review of any content. Have students create games to share with the class when reviewing for quizzes and tests. Bring excitement to professional development by creating a Baamboozle with materials you are sharing. Be sure to provide a link to Baamboozle games on your class website for students to play at home.

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Full Steam Ahead - Brunel's ss Great Britain

Grades
6 to 12
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Learn the science and practical knowledge of ship building with this interactive based on one of Britain's most historic ships. Complete the interactive as an apprentice or master builder...more
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Learn the science and practical knowledge of ship building with this interactive based on one of Britain's most historic ships. Complete the interactive as an apprentice or master builder as you choose designs for different components of the ships including the hull, propellers, and engine. Download the apps for Apple and Android devices for use on any platform.

tag(s): 1800s (50), DAT device agnostic tool (176), engineering (129), STEM (199)

In the Classroom

Share Full Steam Ahead with students as part of any STEM lesson on engineering or sink and float. After using the interactive several times, have students create a simple infographic sharing their ship-building observations using Easel.ly, reviewed here. The original ship was launched in 1843, have students compare the structure to other ships of the time or as a contrast to modern ships.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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MathPapa - Robert Ikeda and Priscilla Pham

Grades
5 to 12
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MathPapa provides step-by-step Algebra help through practice and lessons. Use the Algebra Calculator to solve equations and view each step in solving the equation. Select the practice...more
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MathPapa provides step-by-step Algebra help through practice and lessons. Use the Algebra Calculator to solve equations and view each step in solving the equation. Select the practice page to choose from several different practice activities; use your email or Facebook to create your account and log in. Click on the Lessons link to learn Algebra with five lessons beginning with the basics. Download the free app for Apple and Android for use on any mobile device. Lesson videos reside on YouTube.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (176), equations (156), problem solving (294)

In the Classroom

MathPapa is an excellent addition to any Algebra classroom. Provide a link on classroom computers for students to use to solve problems and view the step-by-step process. Share on an interactive whiteboard as you discuss steps for solving Algebra problems. Share a link to MathPapa on your class web page for student use at home. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, replace paper and pen by having students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Loose Leaves, reviewed here. Take this a step further enhancing students' learning, and challenge pairs or small groups to create a screencast with audio for how they solved the "problem of the week." Use a tool like Free Screen Recorder, reviewed here. Share MathPapa with younger students who have mastered basic math facts and are ready to learn basic Algebra.

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SurveyAnyplace - Stefan Debois and Mark Penson

Grades
K to 12
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Create engaging and informative surveys and polls from any device using SurveyAnyplace. Create an account using your email to begin. Follow prompts to build a survey with a variety...more
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Create engaging and informative surveys and polls from any device using SurveyAnyplace. Create an account using your email to begin. Follow prompts to build a survey with a variety of different question formats including multiple choice, open-ended, images, and more. Choose from the many design templates to add color and interest to your survey. Free plans offer an unlimited amount of surveys each month with up to 20 monthly responses.
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tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (176), polls and surveys (48), quizzes (91)

In the Classroom

Use SurveyAnyplace to accomplish multiple tasks. Create a quiz as a tool for checking prior knowledge or making a quick assessment. Have students answer exit questions or see what students remember from the previous day. Use for formative assessment to identify misconceptions that students may have at the start of a unit. ESL/ELL and world language teachers could use this for vocabulary practice. Have students create quizzes with characteristics of story characters for classmates to see which character they are most like. Students could also create a quiz to present to his/her peers after giving a class presentation. One warning - SurveyAnyplace only offers 20 responses per month with its free plan, be sure to keep this in mind. One workaround is to use multiple email accounts to create and share surveys and quizzes. One feature of Gmail is you can create multiple sub-accounts, explained here; this tells how to set up Gmail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

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Recap - SWIVL

Grades
2 to 12
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Recap will be shutting down June 30, 2019. Use video to assign work and assess students. Recap is a free video response and reflection tool. Set up an account ...more
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Recap will be shutting down June 30, 2019. Use video to assign work and assess students. Recap is a free video response and reflection tool. Set up an account with email, create a class or classes, and invite students with a code. You can input student names, or they can sign up with an email. Both ways the student will need the code. Create questions in text and/or audio or video. Assign to individual students, a group or the whole class, set a due date, decide whether you want students to take the self-assess poll or not, set the maximum time for students to respond (between 15 seconds to two minutes) in their own assessment video, then click done. Students respond using any browser on a computer/laptop or an iPad. Recap has made this process super simple! They have a thorough support section, and, oh yes, you can respond to students by clicking "Leave Feedback."

tag(s): assessment (123), classroom management (156), DAT device agnostic tool (176), portfolios (23), video (263)

In the Classroom

Use Recap in any subject. Create prompts for students to respond to about anything and everything. Challenge students to reflect on their learning at the end of a unit, research project, or literature circle. Here are just a few example questions to ask: What are some things you did well on this assignment? What mistakes did you make on your last assignment that you did not make on today's assignment? What would you do differently? What would you like to learn more about?

Use Recap as follow up for a flipped assignment. Ask students to explain what they understand and/or still don't understand about a concept. You can review the responses before class the next day. Use it as and exit "slip" before students leave class or as a warm up at the beginning of class (what do they remember about the lesson taught yesterday). World language students can practice speaking in their new language and choose the best video to turn into their teacher. Student or teacher can explain a series of steps in an assignment or concept, one at a time (great for differentiation). Math students can explain the steps they took to solve a problem and why. Art students can explain a creation, either theirs or a famous artists, talking about techniques. Music students can perform and explain their learning, or reflect on their performan

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Class Responder - Teacher Created Resources

Grades
K to 12
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Interact with students in real-time with Class Responder. Assign lessons, create quizzes and activities, then view student responses on any device. Create your account with email, then...more
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Interact with students in real-time with Class Responder. Assign lessons, create quizzes and activities, then view student responses on any device. Create your account with email, then follow prompts to add students, create groups, and choose response options. Class Responder activities are for grades 1-6, However, you can create your own for older students. Activities offered on the site include correlation to state and national standards.
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tag(s): classroom management (156), DAT device agnostic tool (176), polls and surveys (48)

In the Classroom

Be sure to click the "Help" link at the bottom of a page or the upper right corner of any page for information about using and setting up Class Responder. Use Class Responder in a 1:1 classroom, then have students provide feedback in real-time to demonstrate understanding. Use as an exit slip, to identify material that needs to be retaught, or to locate specific students that need remediation. Class Responder is perfect for use in flipped or blended learning classrooms to share videos and ask questions before students come to class. Create several activities to save just in case you need an extra lesson on short notice, need to have a substitute, or to use as an at-home lesson for snow days.

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