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OK2Ask: Resource Roundup: Free Tools from the Edge - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session is from September 2022. You can register and immediately view the archive of the session.

Looking for new
...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session is from September 2022. You can register and immediately view the archive of the session.

Looking for new tech tools? Go to the cutting edge with TeachersFirst! Discover tools you and your students can use to create images, timelines, whiteboards, mind maps, and more. Learn how the TeachersFirst Edge collection is organized so you can find a tool that fits your needs. Get inspired and explore classroom applications for timesaving tools in this fast-paced session. As a result of this session, teachers will: 1. Explore the categories and tools reviewed on the TeachersFirst Edge; 2. Plan to implement an Edge resource for student-centered use as part of an upcoming teaching unit; and 3. Use an Edge tool to create an instructional learning object. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): Creating Media (5), professional development (305)

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.

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Straw.Page - Osman Ahmed

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4 to 12
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Straw.Page is a website creation tool and blogging platform that works on any device, even phones. No registration is required to begin creating using themes or from a blank page. ...more
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Straw.Page is a website creation tool and blogging platform that works on any device, even phones. No registration is required to begin creating using themes or from a blank page. Begin by selecting the Get Started for Free button, then browse through the included templates. After choosing a template, follow the tutorial to learn about features available on Straw.Page. When finished, publish your page by adding your email and a password and creating your unique URL to share with viewers. The free option allows you to post two sites that include up to five pages each.

tag(s): blogs (72), communication (135), portfolios (25), writing (293)

In the Classroom

Add Straw.Page to your list of website creation tools to offer for students to use for many different projects. For example, ask students to share poems, lab reports, or quick journal entries and add an image or links to additional information. If students are creating pages, check with your district's policy on publishing student work. Create pages to share information with parents about upcoming events and important dates or a list of links for resources to use at home.

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Writing Forward - Melissa Donovan

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7 to 12
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Writing Forward is a blog packed with tips to inspire any writing project. Created by a former technical writer, copywriter, author, and writing coach, the blog shares helpful information...more
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Writing Forward is a blog packed with tips to inspire any writing project. Created by a former technical writer, copywriter, author, and writing coach, the blog shares helpful information for both novices and experienced writers. Recent posts include "Creating Characters That Resonate" and "Breaking the Rules: When Good Grammar Goes Bad." Use the dropdown box to find blog posts on specific topics, including Grammar Tips and Writing Prompts. Stay current on the latest additions to Writing Forward by subscribing to the weekly digest.

tag(s): creative writing (118), descriptive writing (37), editing (83), expository writing (31), grammar (138), letter writing (16), paragraph writing (14), persuasive writing (55), poetry (186), process writing (39)

In the Classroom

Share a link to Writing Forward on your class website for students to use as a writing resource and for personal and professional use. Use any blog post as a schema activator to introduce a grammar or writing lesson. For example, one post is titled "Homophones: Its and It's." Share a link to the post using Fiskkit, reviewed here. Ask students to add comments and highlight important information from the post directly into Fiskkit. Use students' comments to begin your lesson on homophones. As students understand the different uses for its and it's, ask them to create media that demonstrates the differences using a design tool like Canva for Education, reviewed here. Offer students options for creating flyers, timelines, infographics, and more that take advantage of Canva's many features.

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Quillbot English, Writing, and Research Courses - Quillbot

Grades
6 to 12
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Quillbot offers an extensive catalog of free English, Writing, and Research courses. Content ranges from basic English composition to introductory college writing composition. Scroll...more
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Quillbot offers an extensive catalog of free English, Writing, and Research courses. Content ranges from basic English composition to introductory college writing composition. Scroll through the page to find and access information about each class. The Table of Contents for each topic provides information and links divided by chapter or module. Select individual courses or complete each course in the order provided. Many topics also include practice activities.

tag(s): citations (33), expository writing (31), grammar (138), OER (41), persuasive writing (55), punctuation (27), reading comprehension (126), Research (64), tutorials (47), writing (293)

In the Classroom

Bookmark Quillbot as a supplement to your current curricular materials and a resource for students to use for practice and remediation in writing skills. The courses also provide practice and instruction for use with English Language Learners. Share with college-bound students to use in preparation for college-level courses. Include a link to Quillbot's resources on your class webpage for easy access anytime. Consider curating resources for students using Wakelet, reviewed here, for sharing a collection that includes commonly-used lessons. Find and assign individual topics to students or classes to address specific areas that need additional instruction. For example, when students struggle with the proper use of commas, give and discuss any of the activities found on Quillbot that provide instruction and practice. As students make revisions, ask them to share before and after changes in the product of their writing. For example, when working with Google Docs, ask students to submit an original draft and the finished product and reflect upon the changes and revisions made. Offer students the option to include an audio recording of their reflections using Audio Pal, reviewed here, and share the link to the recording in the final Google Document.

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Twitter Chat: Designing Digital Storytelling Experiences in the Classroom - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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This archived Twitter chat is from September 2022 and will open in Wakelet. The title of this chat is: Designing Digital Storytelling Experiences in the Classroom. During this chat,...more
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This archived Twitter chat is from September 2022 and will open in Wakelet. The title of this chat is: Designing Digital Storytelling Experiences in the Classroom. During this chat, participants: 1. Defined and discussed the basic elements of digital storytelling, 2. Shared tech tools and resources that support digital story experiences, and 3. Collaborated on ideas for integrating digital storytelling across your curriculum.

tag(s): digital storytelling (133), twitterchatarchive (139)

In the Classroom

Find resources and information about digital storytelling. Share this chat with your colleagues looking for strategies and resources on digital storytelling.

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Educational Podcasts for Students - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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In this collection, we share many educational podcasts for students of all ages in various subject areas. The act of listening to podcasts offers many benefits to our students. The...more
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In this collection, we share many educational podcasts for students of all ages in various subject areas. The act of listening to podcasts offers many benefits to our students. The podcasts are available anytime, making them ideal for in-person, remote, blended, and flipped instruction. Students can listen a second time to deepen their understanding.

tag(s): podcasts (59)

In the Classroom

Share these podcasts with your students to use when learning related material. Share a link to this collection on your school web page and in your school newsletter (or email). Find podcasts to incorporate into your lessons.

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Guide to Writing - Quillbot

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K to 12
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The Guide to Writing is a free online course presented through nine modules. A sample of the modules includes grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation, but there are many others....more
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The Guide to Writing is a free online course presented through nine modules. A sample of the modules includes grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation, but there are many others. Each section comprises from seven to approximately forty topics. Each section explains the content; many have practice activities and short videos.

tag(s): citations (33), parts of speech (41), plagiarism (30), punctuation (27), Research (64), sentences (24), spelling (92)

In the Classroom

Although this is a complete course, it isn't necessary to follow the order shared on the site. Instead, pick and choose individual modules or topics to use as desired. For example, if your class needs a short reteaching activity using parenthesis, choose that lesson for students to view and complete the practice activity. This site is also an excellent resource to share with students on your website or include with your other shared sites for students to use in school or at home. Use a curation tool such as Netboard, reviewed here, to gather and share web resources for students to find easily. Use the lessons as a model, and ask students to create writing lessons of their own to address common writing errors found in your classroom. For example, ask students to create explainer videos using simpleshow video maker, reviewed here, to share tips and ideas for using commas correctly or citing sources in research papers.

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Slidesgo - Freepik

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K to 12
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Download free slide templates for Google Slides and PowerPoint from Slidesgo. Free accounts offer up to ten monthly downloads after registration on the site. Find templates in many...more
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Download free slide templates for Google Slides and PowerPoint from Slidesgo. Free accounts offer up to ten monthly downloads after registration on the site. Find templates in many different ways, use a keyword search, sort by color, choose from recent and popular downloads, or select categories, including education templates. After selecting a template, click on the link to the version for your download. When choosing a Google Slideshow, Slidego prompts you to copy the document into your Google Drive. Powerpoint slides download to your device. Another option allows you to share a template directly to Google Classroom.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): flash cards (40), presentations (7), slides (41)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many slide templates shared on this site to spice up your slide presentations and to share with students to use for their creations. Include a link to Slidesgo on classroom computers and your class webpage for easy access to all users. Keep in mind the limit of ten monthly downloads; consider creating an account for each class if necessary. Use the provided templates to create certificates throughout the school year to award student accomplishments or use the flashcard templates to introduce and practice vocabulary terms. Include student presentations as part of portfolios created in Seesaw, reviewed here, to share with parents during parent/teacher conferences.

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Stickies - Carbon Five

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K to 12
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Stickies is a collaborative whiteboard for teams that use stickies to share and organize group ideas. In addition to posting sticky notes, Stickies intuitively assigns colors to messages...more
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Stickies is a collaborative whiteboard for teams that use stickies to share and organize group ideas. In addition to posting sticky notes, Stickies intuitively assigns colors to messages based on the participant's text. For example, "I like" notes turn green, "I wish" is orange, and "We will" becomes blue. After creating an account, double-click on the board to start a new Stickies, then click to add a sticky note. Next, use the plus sign on the dashboard to email and add collaborators. As stickies are added, drag and drop items on the board to organize as desired. You can also make groups by piling the Stickies on top of each other, and you can vote for your favorite ideas. Incognito mode adds a helpful feature when working with collaborators, turn on incognito and set a timer to allow participants a set amount of time to think privately before sharing their sticky.

tag(s): collaboration (81), iwb (32), organizational skills (92), Teacher Utilities (127), Whiteboard (5)

In the Classroom

Save Stickies with your other bookmarks as a handy tool for student collaboration and organizing information throughout the year. For example, engage students in book discussions by creating a Stickies board and asking students to add stickies with details about characters, plot, and setting. Follow up by asking students to color code and organize labels based on the information. In this instance, character information might be yellow, plot blue, etc. Stickies is also an excellent tool to include with social-emotional learning activities. For example, encourage students to share sentences that begin with the "I like," "I wish," and "We will" formats as a tool for goal-setting.

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SwifDoo PDF - SwifDoo Software

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K to 12
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SwifDoo PDF is a free download for Microsoft Operating Systems that offers many tools to edit, merge, compress, and sign PDF documents. Use the PDF editor to add or change ...more
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SwifDoo PDF is a free download for Microsoft Operating Systems that offers many tools to edit, merge, compress, and sign PDF documents. Use the PDF editor to add or change text, font, links, and images to documents. Additional features allow you to add passwords to documents and annotate and reply to others within a shared document. Install SwifDoo PDF by selecting the Free Download link and following the prompts to open and install the application. Check the system and hardware requirements information on the site before downloading and installing SwifDoo PDF.

tag(s): collaboration (81), editing (83), Microsoft (73)

In the Classroom

Download and use SwifDoo PDF for many of your classroom needs. Edit documents to differentiate instruction based on student interests and abilities. If your original document isn't in PDF format, use a conversion tool such as CleverPDF, reviewed here, to convert your file to PDF and begin using SwifDoo. Use the annotation feature as a collaborative tool for you and your students. For example, add feedback to a student document as an annotation and allow them to respond on the same document. Share the same feature with students working on collaborative projects as a tool for sharing ideas within a single document. Add a password to sensitive documents shared with parents, such as behavior reports or feedback on academic progress. Use the Merge tool to combine multiple files to create remote learning packets, share missed classroom assignments, or create a class handbook with pertinent information.

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Emoji Bullet List - Matthew Palmer

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K to 12
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Bullet lists are an excellent method for sharing information; Emoji Bullet List takes bulleted lists a step further, offering the opportunity to create more visually appealing lists...more
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Bullet lists are an excellent method for sharing information; Emoji Bullet List takes bulleted lists a step further, offering the opportunity to create more visually appealing lists using emojis. Type or paste your list into the text box and select "Emojify." Your list appears in the accompanying text box with emojis instead of bullets or numbers. Click on any emoji to view additional options to use with any item. Copy and paste the new list into any document when finished.

tag(s): images (252), presentations (7)

In the Classroom

The Emoji Bullet List doesn't recognize emojis for all words; however, it is helpful for many purposes to visually improve the looks of lists used in documents, slides, and social media. For example, use emoji bullets to bring attention to school supply lists, upcoming important dates, or exciting events. Share Emoji Bullet List with students when creating websites using Carrd, reviewed here, or as part of videos using Adobe Creative Express Video Maker, reviewed here, or presentations created in Adobe Creative Cloud Express for Education, reviewed here.

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Image Candy - Image Candy

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K to 12
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If you struggle to find the right resource for simple editing needs for images, Image Candy is for you! Image Candy offers several tools for converting and resizing images, cropping,...more
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If you struggle to find the right resource for simple editing needs for images, Image Candy is for you! Image Candy offers several tools for converting and resizing images, cropping, adding text, and much more - without requiring registration or annoying advertising. This resource even easily converts Apple HEIC files to JPG, making those images easier to use on many other sites. After selecting a task, follow the prompts to upload and edit your image. When complete, download and save on your device.

tag(s): editing (83), images (252)

In the Classroom

Access to an easy-to-use image editor is vital for many classroom needs, be sure to bookmark and save this site on your computer for many uses and on student computers for school projects. Use the tools in many different ways. For example, use the simple meme generator with a historical figure to introduce a new social studies unit with humor. Use the background remover with pictures taken of students, then ask them to place themselves in a new place using Google Slides, reviewed here such as in a location discussed in a recent novel study. Edit images to include on your classroom website to add text, remove unwanted items, or create animated gifs from classroom videos to share with parents on your site or social media.
 

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Twitter Chat: Media Literacy in the Classroom - Kevin Bower

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K to 12
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This archived Twitter chat is from August 2022 and will open in Wakelet. The title of this chat is: Media Literacy in the Classroom. During this chat, participants: 1. Discussed ...more
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This archived Twitter chat is from August 2022 and will open in Wakelet. The title of this chat is: Media Literacy in the Classroom. During this chat, participants: 1. Discussed the importance of teaching media literacy in the classroom, 2. Explored media literacy resources, and 3. Collaborated on ideas for integrating media literacy across your curriculum.

tag(s): media literacy (90), twitterchatarchive (139)

In the Classroom

Find resources and information about media literacy. Share this chat with your colleagues looking for strategies and resources on media literacy.

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Acast - Acast

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K to 12
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Start or convert your podcasting to Acast's free account. There are many benefits to a free account, such as unlimited hours of audio and editing; with Acast, there are no ...more
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Start or convert your podcasting to Acast's free account. There are many benefits to a free account, such as unlimited hours of audio and editing; with Acast, there are no limits for storage, uploads, or downloads. In addition, you will have your own podcast website that updates automatically, and, unlike other podcast programs, there are no limits to which podcast app you use, and a bonus to that is a one-click distribution to all podcast listening apps. Another advantage with Acast is that you get a free web player that can be embedded on your website, blog, and social media. On top of all that, you get free analytics that shows episode performance, geography, and more. As if all of this isn't enough, if you use another podcasting program, easily switch over to Acast.

tag(s): communication (135), digital storytelling (133), podcasts (59)

In the Classroom

With older students (and strong readers), you may want to pair them up and have them read Aclass Essentials for the basics of podcasting. Using Fiskkit, reviewed here, with this article will enhance student learning. For younger students or weaker readers, use Read Ahead, reviewed here, on your whiteboard or with a projector for a guided reading session. There are many uses for podcasting in a classroom! Create regular podcasts to share on your class web page or wiki. Record class assignments or directions. Record story time or a reading excerpt for younger ones to listen to at a computer center AND from home, adding a touch of blended learning to your classroom! Have readers (perhaps older buddies) enhance their learning and build fluency by recording selected passages for your non-readers. Launch a service project for your fifth or sixth graders to record stories for the kindergarten to use in their reading and listening center. Challenge students to create "you are there" recordings as "eyewitnesses" to historical or current events. Make a weekly class podcast, with students taking turns writing and sharing the "Class News," encourage and extend learning and have students create radio advertisements for concepts studied in class (Buy Dynamic DNA!). Invite students to write and record their own stories or poetry in dramatic readings. English language learners or students just beginning to read could record their fluency by reading passages. Allow parents to hear their child's progress reading aloud, etc. Compare world language, speech articulation, or reading fluency at two points during the year. Challenge your Shakespeare students to record a soliloquy. Write and record a poem for Father's or Mother's Day (or other special events) and send the URL as a gift to that special person. If you have gifted students who lean toward the dramatic, this tool is simple enough for them to create dramatic mini-casts without needing any additional tools.

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OK2Ask: TeachersFirst Tech Tools Smackdown (Digital Storytelling Edition) - TeachersFirst

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2 to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session is from August 2022. You can register and immediately view the archive of the session.

There are many digital
...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session is from August 2022. You can register and immediately view the archive of the session.

There are many digital storytelling tools available for classroom use, but which ones are teachers' favorites? Join TeachersFirst as we showcase and compare some of our contributors' favorite edtech resources for digital storytelling. Explore new and tried-and-true technology tools for your classroom and help us decide which tool is the winner of this season's smackdown! As a result of this session, teachers will: 1. Learn about and compare some of TeachersFirst contributors' favorite technology tools; 2. Evaluate 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): digital storytelling (133), professional development (305)

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.

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OK2Ask: Google Drawings in the Classroom - TeachersFirst

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1 to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session is from August 2022. You can register and immediately view the archive of the session.

Refresh your classroom
...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session is from August 2022. You can register and immediately view the archive of the session.

Refresh your classroom activities using Google Drawings. Learn to design interactive images, labeling activities, and timelines that engage students and deepen content-area knowledge. These resources can bring additional context to your instruction and be used across content areas and grade levels. As a result of this session, teachers will: 1. Learn how to create three types of instructional activities using Google Drawings; 2. Identify ways in which Google Drawings can be used to support instruction; and 3. Create an instructional activity that can be used in class. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): drawing (59), Google (36), professional development (305)

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.

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OK2Ask: Engage & Inspire: Choice Boards for Differentiation Pt. 2 - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session is from August 2022. You can register and immediately view the archive of the session.

Take your choice
...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session is from August 2022. You can register and immediately view the archive of the session.

Take your choice boards to the next level! Regular choice boards allow your students to complete equally active, interesting, and engaging assignments that demonstrate their comprehension of the presented material--but not all students learn at the same pace or have the same background knowledge coming into a lesson. In this session, you'll learn to differentiate your choice boards by process, product, or content to support students as necessary. As a result of this session, teachers will: 1. Learn the basics of Tomlinson's differentiation model; 2. Learn to differentiate choice boards for both instructional and assessment purposes; and 3. Use a template to create a differentiated choice board. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): differentiation (69), professional development (305)

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.

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Crowd Buzzer - Crowd Buzzer

Grades
K to 12
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Crowd Buzzer is a virtual game buzzer that lets players buzz in from any digital device and lets others see who buzzed in first and the order of other players. ...more
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Crowd Buzzer is a virtual game buzzer that lets players buzz in from any digital device and lets others see who buzzed in first and the order of other players. No more wondering who hit that buzzer first! Begin by giving your game a name, then look for the game code in the upper left portion of the page. Next, provide players a link to the Crowd Buzzer site, located here, and ask them to enter the game code. In addition to the game code, players add their name and the optional team name if desired before joining. Next, turn the buzzer on and off from the hosting site; for example, turn off buzzers while reading a question, and turn them on when ready for responses. Finally, players click the buzz button on their screens, and the host receives a list of names in the order they buzz in. Crowd Buzzer allows up to 100 players per game.

tag(s): game based learning (157), Teacher Utilities (127)

In the Classroom

Crowd Buzzer is perfect for many in-person and virtual activities. For example, use Crowd Buzzer to engage students at the start of a lesson to review previous concepts or as an exit ticket activity at the end of class. Enhance learning by including students as the host of activities, ask groups to share information with their peers, and host a Crowd Buzzer game to have other students provide answers to questions they create. Extend learning by asking students to become the teacher and share a project-based learning activity using Crowd Buzzer as a virtual learning activity that includes students and adults. An example would be a student project to understand food waste in the cafeteria. Students share a slide presentation created with Google Slides, reviewed here, or prepare a Wakelet collection, reviewed here, with information found in their research, and then provide an interactive presentation that includes opportunities for administrators and students to buzz in to respond to questions based on statistics learned as part of the students' research presentation.

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FakeYou - echelon

Grades
K to 12
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Convert your text into audio spoken by your favorite characters using FakeYou; no registration is required. Choose from many options to select a voice; options include celebrities,...more
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Convert your text into audio spoken by your favorite characters using FakeYou; no registration is required. Choose from many options to select a voice; options include celebrities, cartoon characters, foreign language accents, and more. After choosing a voice, type your text into the box and click "Speak." Scroll down to find the results. Use the play button to listen to the results and follow the link to download the WAV file. Audio is computer-generated, so it may not be an exact duplicate of the chosen voice; however, the representations are close and are helpful for several different uses.

tag(s): text to speech (17)

In the Classroom

Create and use audio recordings from FakeYou in several different ways in the classroom. For example, convert a short student-written speech into an audio recording featuring a well-known politician's voice, such as Barack Obama or Franklin Roosevelt. In addition, FakeYou offers many voices making it an excellent option to use when writing biographies to add audio to multimedia presentations. Include the downloaded audio file as part of student-created websites made with Site123, reviewed here, or upload the file to include with additional interactive content within a Genially, reviewed here, presentation or video.
 

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Experiment with Google: Arts & Culture Experiments - Google

Grades
4 to 12
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Uncover a city with over 200 pyramids, search across Europe for your penguin friend, or test your knowledge of ancient artworks and artifacts, and much more at Google's Arts & ...more
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Uncover a city with over 200 pyramids, search across Europe for your penguin friend, or test your knowledge of ancient artworks and artifacts, and much more at Google's Arts & Culture Experiments. This large selection of experiments allows you to interact with artificial intelligence and interactive experiences to explore the arts in new and exciting ways. Hover over the icon for any investigation to launch the activity or see an overview that summarizes the experiment and information on tools used to build the experience.

tag(s): animation (64), art history (80), artists (75), climate change (80), colors (59), crosswords (18), drawing (59), egypt (44), emotions (46), environment (221), europe (72), france (37), glaciers (17), insects (59), july 4th (10), museums (42), music theory (45), nasa (28), nutrition (132), painting (55), patterns (62), poetry (186), pollution (48), robotics (24), women (107)

In the Classroom

Save this exciting site to use in several ways to engage students in arts and culture worldwide. For example, as students learn about Europe, add "Where is Hopper" to classroom computers as an activity center for students to explore independently. As students search for Hopper, ask them to use Google Jamboard, reviewed here, to add clues and information learned throughout their exploration. As a final project, as a class or within groups, have students create interactive maps of their travels using Google My Maps, reviewed here. Add images, text explanations of the clues, and videos to share information about each location.

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