GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomImageBase provides a great place for students to find pictures that can be used to communicate information. Find pictures about a particular topic. Keep this site as a reference on your class web page for any time students are creating wikis, blogs, or electronic projects where they need images. Create collages, projects, and more with these high quality pictures. Use images as blog prompts or illustrations in student projects. Have your students create an online "scrapbook" using Smilebox, reviewed here. Find images of locations you are studying in world cultures or geography class. Find images to use in student online projects using Bookemon, reviewed here, or UtellStory, reviewed here.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomUsers click and drag design components onto the main layout page. The free draw tool is a bit trickier to control but is similar to drawing tools in other programs. The perimeter measurement scrolls alongside the line you are drawing. The interface for such a complicated concept is intuitive. Students will need explicit instructions on how to operate this program.
Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to share the tutorial presentation and demonstrate how to use the design tools. Divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. Consider this resource to help math students visualize how to compute the surface area of three-dimensional shapes and understand how area and volume change with scale. Social Studies and History teachers can ask students to re-create the interior of an early American home, Greek Temple or even their own classroom. With guidance, this could be a wonderful tool to help younger students understand interior mapping skills. Classrooms focusing on "real-world learning" may find this a valuable resource tool to help students create design plans for an alternative environment.
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
Includes social features, such as "friends," comments, ratings by others
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Products can be shared by URL
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomShare this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector and allow students to explore on their own or with groups. Use the World Population Display during Social Studies and Geography classes. Art teachers can use the Math of Beauty interactive to teach the Golden Proportion (explained within the site). Use lessons on the site to introduce new information or review before end-of-unit assessments. Create a link on your classroom website or blog for students to access the site from home.
GradesK to 5
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector and then ask students explore it independently or in small groups. Connect this activity to literature study books such as Lois Elherts "Snowballs," and ask students to label or write about their online creation. It is possible to print directly from the site. To save on paper and ink, simply take a screen shot and save it to the desktop ("Prnt Scrn" key on Windows, Command+shift+4 on Mac --- then paste into a document or slide). Exercise your students "fluent" creative thinking skills by asking them to brainstorm items that developers could add to the snowman options, and collect them in a digital "idea bin" like Lino, reviewed here. Soon students will be generating their own ideas for unusual snow characters. These images could be incorporated into a class book in programs such as Book Creator, reviewed here, or Story Maker, reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): design (88)
In the ClassroomDemonstrate how to use thisisand on an interactive whiteboard or projector and then let students explore the site independently or collaboratively. There is an amazing gallery of previously submitted images to explore but be sure to 'sift' through them for inappropriate content before allowing students free access. Although creating precise shapes can be difficult, the application is wonderful for experimenting with color. Have students create a landscape by varying the value of only one color or by playing with the chromatic interactions between colors. This is a wonderful site to support any course in color theory. Art history or studio classes studying "Geometric Abstraction" will enjoy trying to recreate paintings by Josef Albers, Mark Rothko, Sean Scully, or Frank Stella.
Grades4 to 8
In the ClassroomUse this site to show kids who are going on a field trip to a cave a little of what to expect. Or, have students use this website as a virtual cave field trip. Assign student groups topics to pay special attention to during their exploration of the website. Have groups share with the class on their new found area of expertise. Have your students create an interactive online cave poster using Poster My Wall, reviewed here.
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): flickr (5)
In the ClassroomTag Galaxy offers an engaging way to introduce new concepts or informally assess prior knowledge in science or social studies on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Search key terms such as "leaf" or "kids" and then narrow that search using additional tags. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Ask students to annotate an image using a tool such as Fine Tuna, (reviewed here). Compare and contrast the tags for two photographs. What traits do they share and determine what tags differentiate them from one another. Compare the traits using a site such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Once they understand how tags work, challenge students to generate a list of tags for a species image or location image (a digital picture they have taken or found online), using concepts and terms they have studied.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Students can use this when researching alone or in groups, sharing files, videos, and pictures quickly from one computer to another. Have students write tasks for each member of the group on a sticky so that everyone has a responsibility. Show them how to copy/paste URLs for sources onto notes, too. Use Lino as your virtual word wall for vocabulary development. Use a Lino for students to submit and share questions or comments about assignments and tasks they are working on. Use it as a virtual graffiti wall for students to make connections between their world and curriculum content, such as "I wonder what the hall monitor would say finding Lady Macbeth washing her hands in the school restroom... and what Lady M would say back." (Of course, you will want to have a PG-13 policy for student comments!) Encourage students to maintain an idea collection lino for ideas and creative inspirations they may not have used yet but do not want to "lose." They can color code and organize ideas later or send the stickies to a new project board later. In writing or art classes, use lino as a virtual writer's journal or design a notebook to collect ideas, images, and even video clips. In science classes, encourage students to keep a lino board with (classroom appropriate) questions and "aside" thoughts about science concepts being studied and to use these ideas in later projects so their creative ideas are not 'lost" before project time. A lino board can also serve as a final online "display" for students to "show what they know" as the culmination of a research project. Add videos, images, and notes in a carefully arranged display not unlike an electronic bulletin board. This is also a great tool to help you stay "personally" organized. Use this site as a resource to share information with other teachers, parents, or students.
Grades1 to 8
In the ClassroomUse these logic puzzles to differentiate for your gifted learners. Project the activities on an interactive whiteboard or projector and use with the whole class as a brain break. Put the website on your class webpage for students to access from home. In addition use the site on your classroom computers and create a learning center during math time. When students finish a puzzle, have them print it and turn it in for a grade.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse the resources from this web site to plan and implement lessons that students will relate to, and help to bring an end to harmful name-calling and "dissing." Select some of the many safe Web 2.0 tools reviewed by TeachersFirst Edge, such as Automotivator, reviewed here for extending learning and designing digital posters that can be printed, or PhotoPeach, reviewed here, for creating a digital slideshow that includes music, captions, and more. Alternatively, create comic strips: First have students create a rough draft of their comic using Printable Comic Strip Templates, reviewed here. then use the online comic creator Make Beliefs Comix, reviewed here, to drive home the message that bullying is never a laughing matter.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomMark this in your professional favorites for planning and finding webquests. The webquest format has been around for years and can be adapted many ways. Start from this collection and consider designing a webquest "Task" that uses a collaborative, web 2.0 tool such as those reviewed in the TeachersFirst Edge listings. Today's students will love the authentic, creative tasks and collaboration made possible by today's tools. TeachersFirst Edge reviews include ways to use the tools safely and within school policies, for a learning "win-win." You might even want to have student groups design their own webquests for classmates to try as a new twist on "jigsaw" learning.
Grades3 to 12
tag(s): printables (39)
In the ClassroomSave the link to this site for easy access to any type of graph paper or grid you may need throughout the school year. Provide students the link through your class website or blog so that they can access graph paper to use at any time, including for homework. Print out copies of graphs to provide for students. Art teachers will find these grids and geometric patterns useful for teaching about fonts, design principles, and tessellations. Open a pdf on your interactive whiteboard for students to graph using the whiteboard pens or highlighters. You can even use the hexagon grids for students to create "quilt" designs to explore color schemes and repeated patterns. Have students construct geometric figures using various grids to demonstrate area and other geometry concepts on interactive whiteboard.
GradesK to 2
In the ClassroomPresent the activities within this site as activators for new skills and lessons. Share parts of this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Provide the activities within center time for reinforcement of new skills or for those students who may be struggling with a prior skill. Consider providing this link on your class website for students to explore at home.
GradesK to 6
In the ClassroomShare this website on your projector or interactive white board. Present the activities within this site as activators for new skills and lessons. Provide the activities within center time for reinforcement of new skills or for those students who may be struggling with a prior skill. Be sure to list this link on your website for students to access both in and out of class for additional practice.
Grades2 to 12
This site includes advertising.
tag(s): maps (292)
In the ClassroomHave students choose any place, then post the link to it on a blog, wiki, or website, and write a description of it. Describe what they would see out of their window, create a story about what they hear or see, or describe their family and what's inside of the house. Research the history of the area to determine how it may have been different in the past. Of course you will went to avoid posting personal information on the web, but students could write fictional stories or keep personal information out of their writings. Describe the wildlife (plant or animal) that exists in their area. Describe the community of people in the area or an important neighbor and why they are important. Create a persuasive essay why their house (or school) is the best, friendliest, etc. in the area. Use tools to determine the distance between houses or to local historical places, places of interest, etc. Use the image as a powerful tool for writing.
GradesK to 1
In the ClassroomThese interactives will be a nice addition to any preschool, kindergarten, or first grade classroom. The interactive, Blooming Bubbles, will help your students count while they learn about what is needed to grow a garden. In "Busytown," young children can learn about the different parts of a town. Use the interactives on a whiteboard or in a computer lab. These are also good to use for center work. Be sure to turn up speakers to hear audio for whole class use or use headphones if using this site at a center. Why not list this link on your class website for families to explore at home.
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): maps (292)
In the ClassroomAssign students various countries, regions, or continents to make comparisons. Identify the biological, geographical, cultural, and social issues that exist in the world, based on what the pictures show and what their research uncovers. Bring a greater understanding to current economic and environmental issues in many countries. World language (or World Cultures) classes can help students understand the cultures of the countries where the language is spoken. Compare specific attributes of two countries using an online Venn Diagram, such as the one reviewed here. Another idea: have cooperative learning groups use this resource to create online books about the country of their tour using a resource such as Bookemon,
GradesK to 5
*BE AWARE: at the time of this review, a few of the links were "under construction." However, what IS available is worth taking a look at!
In the ClassroomIncorporate fun digital activities into your interactive whiteboard or projector lessons this December. Make a shortcut to links from this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Read Jan Brett's book "Gingerbread Baby" and then have students create virtual gingerbread cookies from the variety of sites on this blog. Science units covering the states of matter, weather, or water cycle can include a fun diversion to cutting out virtual snowflakes. Schools that celebrate Christmas will enjoy projecting an advent calendar daily and seeing what surprises each new day brings.
General Tips and Reminders: Fully preview the links on this site at school before introducing them to students. Some sites may be down or not accessible on your school network. There is some advertising on a few sites. Students may have the opportunity to create virtual cards. These require users to enter email addresses directly into the site. Advise your students to print their work rather than submitting personal emails. Or use a class email (rather than your personal email, create a class gmail account for all students to use).