Grades1 to 12
In the ClassroomPodomatic does not allow memberships for those under 13. Teachers using this tool with younger students should do so under supervision and with a teacher-controlled account. You will want to supervise or establish consequences so students do not spend time on the public areas of the site and instead proceed to creating their podcasts. This is an opportunity to teach about digital citizenship and safety, such as steering clear of interaction and avoiding sharing any identifiable information about yourself in a podcast. You may want to share the links to class podcasts only with your students and parents. If you have students record podcasts as assignments, you may need multiple accounts because the free accounts have limited file space. An elementary teacher might have enough space for 25 students to keep a limited number of products on his/her own account, depending upon length.
Create regular or special podcasts to share on your class web page or wiki. Create a mini cast of images taken during a lab or a portfolio of images from a photography, art, or any other class. Add music and share as part of a digital portfolio. More ideas: 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) 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. Have students 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." Have students create radio advertisements for concepts studied in class (Buy Dynamic DNA!), Have students write and record their own stories or poetry in dramatic readings; language students or beginning readers 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. Have your Shakespeare students 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 a video camera. They can collect images (think Compfight) and write a drama to accompany them, showing what they have learned in independent learning beyond the regular curriculum.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
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 embedded
Products can be shared by URL
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse in the classroom to quickly upload and share images. Create albums where individual photos can be titled or captioned. Have students categorize photos and describe them. Use for any project, class explanation of concepts, experiments, or demonstrations. Share pictures of class happenings, speakers, field trips, and other opportunities you would want to share.
Users must be able to find a suitable image for upload from their computer or the Internet. Follow the very simple directions to manipulate the image. Since no registration is necessary, Imgur is easy and safe to use. Be aware that relying on services such as these can be a problem if the site no longer exists in the future. Be sure that students understand rules for sharing appropriate and inappropriate images and copyright concerns.
Grades7 to 12
There are suggestions, resources, and support to empower young people and give them the energy to take action and make a difference. Whether their passion is to feed the homeless, end bullying, help even the playing field of educational inequalities, or many more needy causes, this website is chock full of easy to access information and strategies that encourage teenagers to decide for themselves how they can contribute their time and desire to make a difference.
tag(s): service projects (22)
In the ClassroomDo you believe that kids can change the world? What are you doing about that? If you have been thinking about involving your class in some type of community service, but need some direction, DoSomething.org is a phenomenal place to "shop" around for ideas. Perhaps you may want to start by showing the film, Pay It Forward, or with a writing prompt, "If you were given time in school to come up with one idea that could be put into action right now by people your age that would make this school or this community a better place, what would it be and how would you put your plan into action?" Have students share ideas in small groups, then introduce them to DoSomething.org by projecting it on your classroom whiteboard or projector, viewing some of the short videos, and using the power of the internet to empower them to act now. Challenge students to collect Internet resources for their cause using Wakelet, reviewed here, where they can add a cover image, background, and chose the layout they prefer. Next, have your students create an interactive simple infographic using Piktochart, reviewed here, to explain their ideas about their cause and how they would put their plan into action. Club advisers, school counselors, and teachers of gifted can use the empowering resources of this site to inspire students to ACT.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomBring galleries from all around the globe right into your classroom and project them in full view on your whiteboard or screen. Whether your objective is to explore curriculum connections to topics you are studying, introduce and examine concepts such as a particular theme or time period, practice descriptive writing, pair works of art with literary selections and historical documents, or develop art appreciation, start by selecting a museum, and then either chose to explore the museum or view the artwork. The drop-down menus and information bars let you navigate easily between the museum and artworks. Choose the "Create an Artwork Collection" feature to build a class collection of specific views of the artworks and add comments; then share online. Create and annotate a class collection to pair with a literary work or invite each student to select a work for a Favorites Museum, explaining his/her choice in written comments. Then share the link for parents to tour the "museum" and comment back. For more ideas, lesson plans, and projects, check out the National Gallery of Art reviewed here and browse the online resources for teachers and students. Try inviting the art teacher to collaborate on a joint venture with you.
Grades6 to 12
Please note that the game page has some ads. Be aware: some of the animation shown in this game may not be appropriate for your classroom. Please preview this activity before sharing with your class.
tag(s): puzzles (204)
In the ClassroomIntroduce the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector then create links on classroom or lab computers for students to explore on their own. Create a classroom list of puzzles encountered during the activity along with solutions when they have been found. Maybe use your class wiki to share solution tips.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomCreate an innovative, exciting revision experience for students to edit each other's writing and engage in the peer review process by using the collaboration feature of Google Docs. This tool facilitates teacher comments on student essays by not having to wait until students turn in their papers. Check essays online, monitor progress, and even make suggestions for revisions to provide feedback along the way to drive successful proofreading and editing skills. After students are entered as collaborators, they will each have a different color to distinguish what they contributed to the document, and you can easily see who made what revisions. Suggested lesson plans for peer editing, complete with downloadable, reproducible handouts and online tutorials are provided. The ease of access to Google Docs makes these lessons a breeze to carry out from any internet connection, so you may start it in the classroom and continue as a homework assignment.
Grades1 to 12
In the ClassroomShare this site on your classroom newsletter or blog for students to access at home. Introduce the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector then create a link on classroom computers. Challenge students to progress through different grade levels and share problems with the class.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomMake this site a link on your class web page during a unit on space or all year round. Gifted students and those with a passion for space will find endless discoveries. Include this site as a research source when assigning projects about space or the planets. If you have more able students in upper elementary or middle school, use this site as a differentiated alternative for them to research at a higher level. Inspire students to read in content areas by sharing space-related "current events" articles from this site. These selections would work well on interactive whiteboards for practice using highlighters to find main idea, context clues, and other comprehension skills. No whiteboard? No problem! Use your projector and eMargin, reviewed here, to highlight and annotate as a class. If you assign portions of the site to the entire class, you may need to assign "reading buddies" for weaker readers and they can use eMargin together. Challenge students to narrate space image galleries (search for the blog entry on the "New Flickr collection of historical NASA photos") or design and explain their own devices for space exploration on Thinglink, reviewed here.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomView the videos and identify the science content that is understood in the video. Be sure to point out how science leads to technological breakthroughs that change the lives of those on this planet. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Assign small groups different topics to view/explore and then create multimedia presentations to share with the class. Have students make online "tours" to explain the topic using Screencast-o-matic, reviewed here. This is a great find for gifted students (logic or unusual topics, for example or a site where students can do more in-depth investigation related to a "standard" curriculum topic)! This site is excellent for enrichment or for gifted students. Include it on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): maps (295)
In the ClassroomArounder adds an extra resource to make your studies come alive. Extend math with real life math problems involving distances, planning routes, costs of tours are illustrated on this site. Try language arts activities to teach setting using world travel. Enrich discussions in ESL/ELL or world language classes by sharing the detailed visual image on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Challenge gifted students to plan a world highlights trip or around the world in 80 days adventure!
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site is great to give students a brain break while still keeping them focused. The website is a great tool to use as a center or to provide a student reward. Use this site to help your students build their concentration and language skills. You can also use the site to help students develop important study skills. Psychology classes may want to analyze why the games promote better brain skills. You do need to register for the free trial in order to access the games. If students register individually they will be able to track their progress. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. You could also just create a class login that students could use to access the additional games.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomDivide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. Have them present the different anecdotes and incidents to the class using different media such as video, booklets, etc. Challenge students to create a video and share using a site such as SchoolTube (reviewed here). Or create an online book using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. In addition to the anecdotes on the site, gifted students can be challenged to find additional stories that relate to Daylight Saving Time. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Use the site as a discussion starter when assigning a creative writing assignment with a topic such as, "I forget to turn my clock back and..."
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.
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 designing digital posters that can be printed, or PhotoPeach, reviewed here for creating a digital slideshow that includes music, captions, and more. TeachersFirst also has an entire collection of on line resources to create comic strips, available here to drive home the message that bullying is never a laughing matter.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomReview the illustrated tutorial on your interactive whiteboard or projector when showing students how to play KenKen. After students understand the game, create a link to the free puzzles on classroom computers or the computer lab for students to solve. After solving puzzles, allow students to discuss their solutions and problem-solving process.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomMusical skills are not a "must" for this site, however would make its use more productive. Beyond listening and clicking ability, the instructions are on screen. It's a great site to creatively "dabble."
If students do create user names, encourage them to use non-identifying names as the posts with their user names are open to the public. Sharing student work may be a safety risk as your students are probably minors.
This tool would be great for independent music studies and/or performance class. Have students compose their own accompaniments to be used as they play for the class. Or, in a less advanced music class or general music class have small groups of students create music using the interactive whiteboard and share with the class. Try using computer programs such as Garage Band or Windows Media Player to record the music to your computer. Students could then share files with each other and listen to a variety of different student created music.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUsers need to be able to record music on their own computer, locate files on their computer, and follow onscreen instructions. Parents and family can hear their student's work as long as the student shares the URL with them.
Have musically gifted students use this to create school sound tracks for the school television show or announcements. Have students create their own drama club or musical interludes for performances. In music clubs, have students record their music to their artist page, share the URL with others in the club, and remix each other's work. In music class, use as a submission space. Have students upload work to their artist page and check work digitally.
Grades2 to 12
Navigate carefully as this site has many advertisements! But the great interactives make it worth the hassle.
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Provide a link to these activities on your class website.
Grades8 to 12
tag(s): poetry (221)