TeachersFirst Edge

New web 2.0 tools appear each day. Many of these tools were not originally intended for classroom use, but they can be powerful learning tools for today's techno-savvy students and their more adventurous teachers. These sites appear (and frequently disappear) very quickly, launched by creative techno-geeks out there in the world.

Many of these tools require a higher-than-average set of teacher tech skills or some extra monitoring to assure student "safety." TeachersFirst Edge reviews these "tools on the Edge" carefully, and with specific ideas for using them safely and effectively in teaching and learning. Reviews point out any safety or policy concerns for the tool and offer links to management tips for each concern.

Especially popular is this subset of the Edge: BYOD Dream Tools: Free tools that work on any device. Look for the device agnostic tool tag in any review.

This is the world your students already know. Try teaching in their vernacular. A little adventurousness makes for powerful learning.

See General Tips for using Edge Tools - a must for first-time users

Browse the full listing of detailed safety/school policy tips or save time by reading them as needed from each tool review.

Learn about school web filtering, a critical issue with many "Edge" tools

If you try one of these tools and find it especially useful, be sure to leave a comment on it to share your students' successes with other teachers. If you know of another tool that teachers would find beneficial, please suggest it via our webmaster account, as a "suggested resource."

Here's the Edge:

 

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The Global Read Aloud - Pernille Ripp

Grades
K to 12
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The Global Read Aloud offers you a chance to share a book with other students from around the world. This program is in its fourth year and has had over ...more
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The Global Read Aloud offers you a chance to share a book with other students from around the world. This program is in its fourth year and has had over 200,000 participants. The Global Read Aloud is a six-week event that ends in November. Announcement of the book list and the author study selections occur each spring. Student involvement starts in the fall each year. Teachers, parents, and individual students are invited to join. Choose a book to read and sign up at the very beginning of each October. There is a Google form on the main page for registration. On this main page, you will find several suggested ways to participate: The Global Read Aloud wiki, Edmodo, reviewed here, Kidblog, reviewed here, and several others. Also, find a list of teachers who have already started connecting and their Edmodo links.

tag(s): authors (92), guided reading (38), reading comprehension (84), reading lists (67)

In the Classroom

Start looking at The Global Read Aloud program before the school year starts. The author study can be useful for students who have difficulty reading chapter books. There are also pictures books available for younger students. Choose the book early, or get your students involved once school starts. Have students vote for the book they want to read by using a program like Wejit, reviewed here. WeJit allows students to write why they want to read that book. As you are reading the book, you may want to have small groups research and investigate the setting, author, inferences, references, and allusions to other books, history, and places. Book Drum, reviewed here, is a good example with ideas for "profiling" a book. Researching and presenting their findings will help students with deep reading experience required by the Common Core Standards. Have students create a class wiki modeled after Book Drum. To learn more about using wikis in your classroom, check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.

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Fake iPhone Text - fakeiphonetext.com

Grades
2 to 12
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Fake iPhone text is a tool to create fake screenshots of a series of iPhone text messages. Enter your conversation including name and message. Click the link "Create" to view ...more
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Fake iPhone text is a tool to create fake screenshots of a series of iPhone text messages. Enter your conversation including name and message. Click the link "Create" to view the picture. Take a screenshot or copy the URL to share.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (128), digital citizenship (23), digital storytelling (82), writing prompts (81)

In the Classroom

Have students create texts between two characters from a book or two famous people. Create short poetry in text message form. Provide some opening text and ask students to write their ideas for the other person's answers. Use a text sequence as a prompt for creative writing. Have students practice creating a short dialogue or questions and answers. Create a fake text of a conversation and have students use inference skills to determine what happened before and after the conversation. Teach proper texting etiquette using this tool. Use a fake text on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to display word definitions in a new way. Create fake texts of homework or project reminders and post them on your class wiki or web page. Make fake text book promotions to share on the dust jackets.

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Zaption - Zaption

Grades
7 to 12
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Put Zaption in action to create an interactive video experience in your classroom. Create a "learning tour" by adding interactive elements such as images, text, quizzes, and discussions...more
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Put Zaption in action to create an interactive video experience in your classroom. Create a "learning tour" by adding interactive elements such as images, text, quizzes, and discussions to existing videos on YouTube, Vimeo, and your own video library. Use Zaption to transform a passive "lean back" viewing experience to a "lean forward," engaging interactive learning activity. Zaption provides a tutorial video as well as examples to scaffold your experience with the site. Clone "learning tours" from the gallery to help you build your own videos. Zaption's analytics provides the instructor immediate feedback on how their students interact with the concepts and content of the interactive video. Students take an active role in their learning with the action provided by Zaption. Interactive Zaption videos can also be created by students. Students 13 and under need parent permission for accounts. Premium features are available at a cost. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube to upload to Zaption.
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tag(s): questioning (30), teaching strategies (25), video (174)

In the Classroom

Use Zaption to make your flipped lessons more engaging. Create review videos or videos for learning stations in the classroom. Upload videos your students create, and use your voice and annotations to provide an interactive assessment. Teachers of younger students can create teacher-made Zaptions for students to view. Challenge your older students to create their own videos to demonstrate their learning of content or concepts. Students can create their own review videos with questions. Use a graphic organizer with students to organize their script and information before recording. Have your ESL/ELL students write and record their own Zaption video on a topic of personal interest after cloning a video already available in the Zaption gallery. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings from research on a topic using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Download the infographics and upload them to Zaption for students to create an interactive explanation with questions for the viewer. Challenge your gifted students to create an interactive review from a field trip. Students can record video and images. Upload the media to Zaption to create an interactive tour of the trip. Add questions to increase engagement. Have your students record experiments and use Zaption to annotate the Scientific Method. Flip your professional development or meetings with Zaption.

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Listbrew - listbrew.com

Grades
K to 12
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Listbrew is, quite simply, an online list creator and notepad. Create an account using your email and a password. Then start making lists! Type a title onto the notepad, and ...more
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Listbrew is, quite simply, an online list creator and notepad. Create an account using your email and a password. Then start making lists! Type a title onto the notepad, and add items to your list. Login to your account from any device to view and update lists at any time. You have the options to change colors, backgrounds, fonts, and more.
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tag(s): organizational skills (89)

In the Classroom

Although Listbrew has some shortcomings, primarily the inability to share lists with others, it may be useful to create lists for personal use. Create to-do lists for each week, semester, or school year. Share Listbrew with students as you help them learn to organize items for large projects including due dates. Once registered, students can access their lists on any device.

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HelloSign - Joseph Walla

Grades
K to 12
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Obtain and send signatures on documents with HelloSign. This service allows you to email documents and receive legally binding signatures through email and other services. HelloSign...more
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Obtain and send signatures on documents with HelloSign. This service allows you to email documents and receive legally binding signatures through email and other services. HelloSign also syncs with DropBox, Box, Evernote, and SkyDrive. Sign up using your email or Google account then follow steps on the Getting Started link. Upload documents from your computer or allowed services to edit and sign, add a message and recipients then send. Send up to three free documents per month with a free account. There is the option for a 30-day free trial period of some of the premium features, however, this review is only for the "always" free features.
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tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (64), organizational skills (89)

In the Classroom

Use HelloSign to obtain parent signatures on IEP's, behavior notices, and more when parents are unable to physically sign documents. Have administrators send evaluation documents for teacher signatures electronically. Use anytime a signature is required without having to mail documents or have the signer present. You will, of course, want to be sure that a "clever" student is not doing the signing for his or her parents! Make sure to verify email addresses through a phone call or other means.

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Milq - Jordan Jacobs and Don MacKinnon

Grades
8 to 12
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What is Milq? This tool is like the Pinterest for videos, music, and information. This user-generated network can curate and organize "channels of culture" on the Internet. Organize...more
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What is Milq? This tool is like the Pinterest for videos, music, and information. This user-generated network can curate and organize "channels of culture" on the Internet. Organize content by specific topics. Organize material into collections called "beads." You create a specific bead by asking a general question such as "How to" or a topic such as "Powerful Poems." There are also beads for music of certain decades. Other Milq members contribute to these beads by adding video or audio clips. Star beads that you like and add them to collections. Add video and audio clips to beads that you find. Many of the videos are from YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube, but Milq will not allow you to save or share such downloads. Note: Be sure to view specific collections in advance before sharing with students. Even though offensive content was not found in the public gallery, that gallery is unmoderated.
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tag(s): decades (14), music theory (25), video (174)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to collect or add specific video and audio content for any subject matter that can be shared in class. Use the existing beads to get a feel for a certain time period. (Our review team couldn't help listening to 80's music videos and reminiscing.) Since the tool is completely public, this tool is probably best used via a teacher-controlled account or by mature students with parent permission. Develop specific questions to answer about the time period as they are a time capsule of history. In a music or art class, view various beads about music genres to compare and contrast. Look at cultural/social influences on the music as well as the influence of the music on culture. In world language classes, you can collect a bead of videos for students to experience the pop culture of another land. If you search "education," you will find collections of videos about educational change and more. Use Milq to collect thought-provoking videos to use in professional development or to collect videos to support curriculum (and collaborate with other teachers on these collections).

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Metryx - Shawn Rubin and Stephanie Castilla

Grades
K to 12
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Gather formative assessment data to better identify students needing help. Document data from a variety of sources: exit tickets, online activities, pop quizzes, chalkboard problems,...more
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Gather formative assessment data to better identify students needing help. Document data from a variety of sources: exit tickets, online activities, pop quizzes, chalkboard problems, verbal questioning, and more. Use a mobile device to enter student assessments as you mingle and work with them. Click Help to view videos (hosted on Vimeo) that explain how it works. Document correct or incorrect responses with one tool. Use Metryx to choose a skill. Choose a student and enter quantitative or qualitative data. View an analysis and graphs of data. Use this tool to separate students into groups based on mastery achievement. Evaluate the whole class or view trends over time. Add classes, students, and skills. Use the Track, Analyze, and Differentiate tabs to enter and evaluate collected data. You can upload student data from Excel to save time.

tag(s): assessment (60), data (138)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to keep track of student mastery of specific skills. Use this tool to help group students to identify those that need more help mastering various concepts. Develop a plan for differentiating instruction for specific groups or individuals.

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Movenote - Movenote Team

Grades
5 to 12
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Create an integrated video presentation or screencast using Movenote. Add content from Google Drive, a computer, or just about any device. Movenote will work with nearly any format...more
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Create an integrated video presentation or screencast using Movenote. Add content from Google Drive, a computer, or just about any device. Movenote will work with nearly any format (doc, PDF, images, and even video). Uploading your documents or video creates the slides, and you can start recording. Simply swipe to synchronize the slides to the video. Registration requires your name and email address. You can register with your Google account. Share the Movenote by embedding, or use Gmail, Google+, Google Drive, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, and other social media. Recording requires Shockwave and the approval to access your device's sound and camera.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (64), digital storytelling (82), video (174)

In the Classroom

Encourage your students to use this tool for projects and reports. Use this tool for analysis of a lab report, the culminating project for literature circles, book reviews, explaining a math problem, or a digital portfolio for artwork or music. Have students record their authentic language (reading a Spanish or French paragraph or ESL/ELLs reading English) to listen to their pronunciation. Students can take pictures on a field trip and share them via Movenote to show their parents what they learned. Students could illustrate a short story they wrote, using the audio to record the story as the illustrations slide past. Use this program when you have to be away from the classroom instead of writing out all the directions for a sub. Use it for absent students to stay on top of what has been discussed, assigned, or completed in class. Use it to explain how to solve a math problem and post it on the class website for students to refer to at home. Use it as a screencast for giving feedback for student writing. This tool would be useful for blended or flipped learning, giving students time to absorb information about content, leaving class time for individualized learning.

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comSlider - eTipSis

Grades
K to 12
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ComSlider is free online slideshow creator. Upload your images up to 3mb each, choose a template, then let comSlider work its magic! Customize your slideshow with other options such...more
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ComSlider is free online slideshow creator. Upload your images up to 3mb each, choose a template, then let comSlider work its magic! Customize your slideshow with other options such as width, height, and transition options using controls on the left. Register to save and receive html code for embedding and sharing.

tag(s): images (211), slides (51)

In the Classroom

Have students tell a short story by adding text to pictures that they have taken or found online. Have students search for Creative Commons licensed images about topics that they are studying and record a short slideshow. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here. Create a comSlider presentation for class field trips or activities to share on your website or blog. Have students create presentations as book talks for the library/media center.

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Studeous - studeous.com

Grades
K to 12
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Studeous helps teachers create beautiful websites that become a private, social network for the class. Free accounts offer features such as announcements, messaging, student and parent...more
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Studeous helps teachers create beautiful websites that become a private, social network for the class. Free accounts offer features such as announcements, messaging, student and parent accounts, and a discussion area. Upload up to 100 photos, 15 files, and 5 classes per account.
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tag(s): microblogging (33), multimedia (33), portfolios (21)

In the Classroom

Use Studeous to personalize a website for each of your classes. Post homework and files for student use at home. Use the discussion area for students to respond to class discussions or post a question of the week for student response.

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Cellsea - Cellsea LLC

Grades
K to 12
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Cellsea is a free online photo editor. To begin, upload any image from your computer or load from an image URL. Features include drawing on images, re-sizing, cropping, correcting brightness,...more
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Cellsea is a free online photo editor. To begin, upload any image from your computer or load from an image URL. Features include drawing on images, re-sizing, cropping, correcting brightness, and adding special effects. Save edited images when finished or use links to share via email or Flickr. Optional log-in with Facebook or Twitter enables the ability to share via these social networks.

tag(s): editing (36), images (211), photography (133)

In the Classroom

Pictures taken in the classroom often need to be edited in some way, and this online photo editor provides many of the options needed plus a few interesting effects. With no registration, have students upload a picture, create effects, and save again on their computer. Advise students to use pictures that they have permission to alter. Using their own photos is one way to ensure this. Be sure to check your school's acceptable use policy. Students should be aware of how to upload and then find their creation. When using pictures for any classroom projects, lessons, or activities, use this service.

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99 Polls - 99 Widgets

Grades
K to 12
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Create a free poll or survey and share via email, website, blog, or even a social network. Engage all students with their active involvement with 99 Polls! It is a ...more
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Create a free poll or survey and share via email, website, blog, or even a social network. Engage all students with their active involvement with 99 Polls! It is a great tool that makes looking at data easy and interesting. Embed the URL in your website or email and you are good to go!

tag(s): polls and surveys (37)

In the Classroom

Liven up your classroom with 99 Polls. Use it as an anticipatory guide for introducing new content. Get kids thinking by asking tough questions leading to debates. 99 Polls can also serve as a class voting device. Make school-wide decisions with students, faculty, or parents! During reading week, discover your class, school, or school families' favorite books, or activities. During election time, this is an easy voting solution. At the beginning of the school year, 99 Polls is a great ice breaker. Students can use 99 Polls as a study tool or even quiz maker. Use as a data collection device in science or math.

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ShareDrop - Cowbell Labs

Grades
3 to 12
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Frustrated when trying to transfer files from one device to another? This resource is a free service that easily transfers files between devices without creating any kind of account....more
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Frustrated when trying to transfer files from one device to another? This resource is a free service that easily transfers files between devices without creating any kind of account. Use this resource in Opera, Chrome, or Firefox (not Safari or Internet Explorer!). It will work on your laptop, desktop, tablet, or mobile device. Please note: both devices must be connected to the same wireless network. Simply drag files into ShareDrop on one device and then open it on the other. For users familiar with AirDrop on Apple products, this tool looks and works similarly.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (64)

In the Classroom

This would be a good tool to use in a computer lab or with laptop carts, iPads, or Chromebooks where students don't have email addresses or Google Accounts for sharing work with their teachers or each other. Students and teachers simply go to the ShareDrop site. When students are ready to share their work with their teachers, they can drag it into the ShareDrop page on their laptops, desktops, or tablets. For those interested in security, files are not actually uploaded to a server. Instead, ShareDrop is a peer to peer connection. Teachers can "push out" files to students quickly and easily using this tool. During curriculum development and other professional development activities, members of a specific department (or even school-wide) can share resources and documents easily to each other. This is a MUST in 1:1 and BYOD classrooms! Student groups working on projects in class can gather and share files easily.

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Tizmos - tizmos.com

Grades
K to 6
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Tizmos offers a student-friendly bookmarking and home page dashboard tool that works for even the youngest of students. Small screenshots provide a visual representation of each link...more
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Tizmos offers a student-friendly bookmarking and home page dashboard tool that works for even the youngest of students. Small screenshots provide a visual representation of each link for ease of choice. Choose the "Try it now" link to get started then scroll to the bottom of the page and choose the free plan. Sign up using your email. The free account offers one folder and up to 30 Tizmos (bookmarks) for an unlimited period of time. Add sites by pasting in the URL. Add Tizmo's bookmarklet to your browser to easily add sites at any time. Drag and drop your bookmarks to arrange in any order. Make sure your page is marked public to share using your unique URL.
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tag(s): bookmarks (58)

In the Classroom

Create a Tizmo for classroom computers for students to easily access frequently used websites. Share a link on your class webpage or newsletter for student use at home. Since the free account only offers one page, change your page throughout the year to include links to sites corresponding to current classroom content.

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Gamestar Mechanic - E-Line Media

Grades
4 to 9
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Level up your learning with Gamestar Mechanic. Gamestar Mechanic is a fantastic free site to learn about web-based game design and 21st Century skills. Your journey begins with a series...more
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Level up your learning with Gamestar Mechanic. Gamestar Mechanic is a fantastic free site to learn about web-based game design and 21st Century skills. Your journey begins with a series of mini adventure quests that teach you the core principles and fundamentals of game design. Earn new game design elements such as blocks for constructing levels, characters, and other items with each level of completion. The levels scaffold from learning about gaming principles to "repair" games to fix improper mechanics. Unlock more items to widen your workshop experience with the more missions you master. The workshop offers drag and drop tools to create your own original games without having to program. You must be able to beat your own game to publish it for friends, family, and the Gamestar Community to play. Game Alley is a space for players to publish and review games. Teachers have an extensive collection of lessons at their disposal, with clear goals provided for the student. This game contains no inappropriate content, but contains a fair amount of reading and may be too complex for younger players. All communication on the site is moderated, and there is no live chat of any kind, nor any use of personal information. Premium options are available for purchase. This review is for the FREE portion only.
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tag(s): creativity (93), design (77)

In the Classroom

Game design allows learners to build technical, technological, artistic, cognitive, social, and linguistic skills. Students can collaborate in small groups or with partners to work through the Quest adventure. Use Gamestar Mechanic as a platform for creative writing opportunities. Each level of the game unlocks the next section of the story. Games are an emerging form of self-expression and communication. Integrate spelling words, vocabulary words, and word wall words in the story. Challenge your gifted students to create math problem solving activities for each level of an original game. Students can collaborate by linking multiple games on a Smore (reviewed here), which allows students to provide the exposition to a multi-level challenge. Have students unlock content or clues for a unit by conquering Gamestar quests. Students can create review games for their peers with content from various subjects. Create an educational scavenger hunt for your students. Each level of the game unlocks a task or clue to a physical task around the classroom.

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Memofon - memofon.com

Grades
8 to 12
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Memofon is an online mind mapping tool that creates mind maps and lists easily from your notes or text. Click on the playground link to try different options for mind ...more
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Memofon is an online mind mapping tool that creates mind maps and lists easily from your notes or text. Click on the playground link to try different options for mind maps such as to-do lists, icon maps, and formatting maps. Include links to images in your maps for more visual appeal. Create your free account to make and save your own mind maps.

tag(s): concept mapping (22), graphic organizers (45), mind map (25), organizational skills (89)

In the Classroom

Memofon's application is a bit more complicated for use than some other mind mapping applications so it may be better suited for use with high school students. Share this site with your gifted students to help them stay organized. Use this tool to help organize learning units and share the organization on the screen so students see how pieces fit together. It would be a good idea to have a student emcee share HOW to use this site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Share the unit map with other teachers, students, or parents. Highlight goals, objectives, learning tasks, assessments, and resources. Share before your unit, and expectations become very clear. Use as a yearly overview for parents at the beginning of the year at Open House. Let parents see the multiple ways their child will be assessed through the year. Have students use this tool for direction in problem based learning situations. Use this tool in science for collecting data, experiments, or science fair outlines. Use the tool in writing class to make writing guides for narrative or expository writing. In reading, use for predictions, sequencing of stories, inferences, or organizing genres of books each student has read. Have students map multiple ways to solve a single problem in math class. Have students keep daily requirements or schedules with readily available resources as links. Let students enjoy taking notes from content based classes. Have a student scribe create the notes each day and share with the class. Have student groups map the current unit before the test as a review activity. Or use an ongoing map as a whole class visual diagram of concepts learned, adding new knowledge throughout a unit. Don't miss the chance to color code to "sort" ideas and concepts!

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Zoho Online Surveys - Zoho Corporation

Grades
3 to 12
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Creating online surveys just became easier and quicker using Zoho. Simply use the survey editor to add questions, edit, and modify your survey. Choose from 15 different question types...more
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Creating online surveys just became easier and quicker using Zoho. Simply use the survey editor to add questions, edit, and modify your survey. Choose from 15 different question types such as multiple choice or more advanced options such as a matrix. Use logic within responses to skip or present questions based on user response. Use social media to share surveys and feedback via links to Twitter, Facebook, and more. Add a QR code on print material if desired to access surveys.

tag(s): polls and surveys (37)

In the Classroom

Copy/paste the link to the poll or use the embed code to place in a wiki, blog, or a site. Be sure that students use the poll appropriately and know that personal information is not acceptable in poll responses. Use polls anywhere to record quick responses to questions. Have students create a poll about their interests and allow time to analyze responses and report findings. Use this site to vote for correct answers in math class, project ideas for science or social studies, social issues in current events, and practically any other subject area. Students should be encouraged to incorporate polls during class presentations. In an elementary math class, collect quick data to show use of graphs. Share the graphs on your projector or interactive whiteboard in "real time." Provide options for students to gain confidence in generating and analyzing statistics they have created. Include a quick parent poll, on a class website, to keep the lines of communication open. An iPad app is available for easy use in mobile settings.

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Tapestry - readtapestry.com

Grades
K to 12
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Tapestry is a new way of storytelling across any device. Create and view beautiful "tappable" stories -- slideshows telling a simple story where readers tap to move forward. Explore...more
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Tapestry is a new way of storytelling across any device. Create and view beautiful "tappable" stories -- slideshows telling a simple story where readers tap to move forward. Explore Tapestries created by others sorted into categories such as popular, fashion, inspiration and more. To make your own Tapestry, click "Write a Tapestry" to view options. Options in the original editor include adding images, text formatting and color options, including a share button to send your Tapestry to others via social networking and email. Additional formats include resources for creating animated gif's and short stories. You do need an account to make your own Tapestry. There are free app versions for iOS and Android.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (64), slides (51)

In the Classroom

Tapestry is perfect for use when creating and sharing short stories or poems. Use Tapestry to create quick slideshows for any classroom use. Set up a whole class account so students do not need individual logins. Easily share slides with information or (online) images on your website or blog to remind students about a project or assignment. Have students create presentations to "introduce" themselves to the class during the first week of school. Create a slide show to introduce any unit and have students guess what they will be learning. Create a Tapestry easily "on the fly" as a review resource to embed on your class website or blog. This site is perfect for your BYOD (bring your own device) classroom, since it is a "DAT." Make quick "cue cards" for students to read their lines off a projector, interactive whiteboard, or tablet for a video or school news broadcast! Paste your school or class announcements into slides and embed them on the class or school website.

Use this simple tool for students to make book promos for the library/media center. Display them on tablets or iTouches! Even the youngest gifted students can create simple presentations to go beyond regular curriculum in your class. Be sure to show young ones how to copy/paste the url for their finished work to send it to you or mark it in Favorites on the classroom computer or iPad. Have them make slide shows telling a story, explaining about a famous person, and more. During a unit on plants, have students create a guide to plant care or a show about the world's strangest plants. Have them write and illustrate slides as book reviews for independent reading they have done. This tool is simple enough for any student who can read.

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Classroom Authors - Classroom Authors

Grades
1 to 12
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Classroom Authors uses four easy steps to publish an e-book or a printed book: writing, editing, proofing, and publishing. Teachers create an account and a project. Have students join...more
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Classroom Authors uses four easy steps to publish an e-book or a printed book: writing, editing, proofing, and publishing. Teachers create an account and a project. Have students join the project with a code. Every student with the project code will have a chapter to create. Student accounts require email, but they can use a parent email address or an "+" extension of the teacher's email address, for instance, myemail+studentname@myschool.org. All students invited to the project can be working on their section, on multiple computers, at one time. Adding content is as easy as using a word processing program and uploading images to the gallery. Drag and drop the images into the chapter. Students can view the entire book, but only edit their own chapter. Teachers have complete control over editing, style and leaving comments. There are default templates so the books created are professional looking. Customize to give the book your own look. Classroom Authors is not only a vehicle for publishing; this tool will fulfill the Common Core Standard requirements for using technology for collaborating and writing across the curriculum. The best part of this site: it is EASY to use! Classroom Authors uses ePub to format e-books and offers one free printed book for each published project that has 10 or more students collaborating. Beyond that, there is a cost for printed books. E-books are FREE.

tag(s): creative writing (128), descriptive writing (26), ebooks (33), process writing (32), writing (314)

In the Classroom

Research proves publishing improves writing skills. Use Classroom Authors for class newsletters, an anthology of student written stories, and creating "choose your own adventure" type stories. Use this tool for research or opinion pieces in world language classes, science, math, or social studies. Some teachers have their students write novels for National Novel Writing Month, and at Classroom Authors they will be able to publish them.

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Showbie - Trilby

Grades
5 to 12
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Showbie is a tool for assigning, collecting, and reviewing student work. You can access Showbie via the web or download the free app to your iPad. Begin by creating your ...more
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Showbie is a tool for assigning, collecting, and reviewing student work. You can access Showbie via the web or download the free app to your iPad. Begin by creating your class list and noting the class code to be provided to students. Add assignments including a due date, and add files, images, or videos directly from your computer. This tool also works with the Pages application used on iPads. Upload these files directly from an iPad onto Showbie. Additional options to add to assignments include text and voice notes. Students use the class code to access assignments and return for review and grading. The free version allows unlimited classrooms and assignments. However, the maximum amount of students you can "enroll" in a class is 35.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): assessment (60), classroom management (65), data (138), organizational skills (89)

In the Classroom

If you are lucky enough to have an iPad classroom, Showbie is an excellent resource for creating and sharing assignments. However, any device with web access will work fine. Use Showbie in your flipped classroom to provide rich multimedia lessons for students including videos, images, and audio. Share with parents for viewing student work and assignments. Share with other teachers for students to seamlessly view all assignments, including Learning Support and ELL teachers who work with your students. Help your students become more organized with their assignments.

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