TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Feb 19, 2017

Here are this week's features. Clicking the tags in the description area of each listing will present a list of other resources with this topic. | Click here to return to the Featured Sites Archive

 

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Copyright Decision Tool - Council of Ministers of Education, Canada

Grades
6 to 12
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Encourage and promote proper digital citizenship through the use of the Copyright Decision Tool. Choose the type of published work from options including periodicals, poems, books,...more
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Encourage and promote proper digital citizenship through the use of the Copyright Decision Tool. Choose the type of published work from options including periodicals, poems, books, and more to begin. Answer questions to learn if it is a permissible use of the published work. In addition to the decision tool, this site contains many other resources for teachers including articles and video presentations.

tag(s): copyright (50), digital citizenship (65), ethics (17), plagiarism (34)

In the Classroom

Include this site as part of your digital citizenship lessons. Explore together what is the acceptable use, and what is not. Have students create online posters individually or together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here, or PicLits, reviewed here, to demonstrate the acceptable use of published work. Be sure to include a link to this tool on your class web page for student use at home.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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GameMaker Studio - YoYo Games

Grades
4 to 12
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GameMaker Studio uses drag and drop features for creating online games without having to learn code. Download the software for use on Windows machines running XP and higher. Tutorials...more
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GameMaker Studio uses drag and drop features for creating online games without having to learn code. Download the software for use on Windows machines running XP and higher. Tutorials provide instructions for beginners and leads learners through complete instructions for creating and sharing games. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): coding (50), game based learning (113), gamification (74), STEM (150)

In the Classroom

Use GameMaker Studio as an interesting way to introduce coding to your class for beginners and experienced coders. Display GameMaker on your interactive whiteboard or projector as you progress through the steps to code a game, then have students create and explore on their own. After school clubs and activities can use GameMaker to learn to code. Use this tool with gifted students for a great challenge. Set up a coding activity center for interested students when they finish class work or for rainy days and snow days. Share this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.

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Creator Academy - YouTube

Grades
8 to 12
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Creator Academy offers a series of online video courses designed to maximize YouTube success. Although this isn't the goal of every video creator, the courses provide many valuable...more
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Creator Academy offers a series of online video courses designed to maximize YouTube success. Although this isn't the goal of every video creator, the courses provide many valuable lessons in video production and creating engaging content. Each video includes a downloadable lesson reinforcing content. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): creativity (118), journalism (55), social media (20), video (274)

In the Classroom

View videos with a projector or on an interactive whiteboard before assigning multimedia projects. Include a link to videos on your class web page for students to view at home. Set up a video chat time for one of these YouTube videos using a tool such as Watch Together, reviewed here, to discuss the video lesson. Be sure to share with your school's journalism teacher for use with writing and video projects.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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CodeChef for Schools - Directi

Grades
8 to 12
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CodeChef for Schools offers computer programming training and competitions. After registering as a New User, choose the Get Started button to begin as a newbie and explore frequently...more
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CodeChef for Schools offers computer programming training and competitions. After registering as a New User, choose the Get Started button to begin as a newbie and explore frequently asked questions. Choose the practice area to hone skills from beginner level through challenge level. Compete in monthly competitions with other coders from around the globe. Middle and high school students will appreciate the lunchtime contests, an introduction to competitive coding, targeted for their age group. These take place the last Saturday of each month, and specific times are posted on the site. The demonstration videos reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): coding (50), competitions (15), computers (92), critical thinking (111), problem solving (274), STEM (150)

In the Classroom

Coding is an excellent way to teach critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Use this site as homework, a center, or in a lab setting. The site offers different levels, so differentiation is built in. Explain to students that coding is a critical skill in today's world filled with technology and will also be a valuable skill in the job market. Many jobs that will require coding do not yet exist. Put a link to this tool on your class website, blog, or wiki. Encourage advanced students to enter the monthly competitions offered on CodeChef.

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Seven Digital Deadly Sins - Guardian Weekend Magazine

Grades
9 to 12
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What are the seven digital deadly sins? This site explores digital sins through videos and personal stories. Learn how envy has led to social media users feeling inadequate with their...more
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What are the seven digital deadly sins? This site explores digital sins through videos and personal stories. Learn how envy has led to social media users feeling inadequate with their own life circumstances, or how digital access stops some users from personal interactions. Click on any image to open the topic and view each personal story. Be very careful if using this in a classroom as there are discussions of items not appropriate for all viewers.

tag(s): digital citizenship (65), professional development (134), social media (20)

In the Classroom

Be very careful if using this in a classroom as there are discussions of items not appropriate for general consumption, and may be more appropriate as inspiration for discussing the main "sins" in your classroom. At a minimum, be sure to view and screen portions of the site for appropriateness before sharing with students. Have students create an online graph using Amblegraph, reviewed here, to analyze their digital usage. Share ideas and reflections comparing the positives of digital media versus the negative impacts. Exchange information from the site with your colleagues and school counselors as part of any professional development or discussions about the use of social media and digital tools. Share with parents who have concerns about their student's digital usage.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Code School - Code School LLC

Grades
5 to 12
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The Code School free account provides access to twelve introductory courses in computer coding. Create an account using your email address, then navigate to courses to view the free...more
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The Code School free account provides access to twelve introductory courses in computer coding. Create an account using your email address, then navigate to courses to view the free offerings. Courses offer several levels of training including videos and challenges. Earn digital badges as you complete each course.

tag(s): coding (50), computers (92), critical thinking (111), engineering (126), problem solving (274), STEM (150)

In the Classroom

Coding is an excellent way to teach critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Use this site as homework, a center, or in a lab setting. Courses are self-paced, so differentiation is easy. Explain to students that coding is a critical skill in today's world filled with technology and will also be a valuable skill in the job market. Many jobs that will require coding do not yet exist. Put a link to this tool on your class website, blog, or wiki. Since registration is via email, for young students consider using a "class set" of Gmail subaccounts, explained here; this tells how to configure Gmail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. Using Gmail subaccounts will provide anonymous interaction within your class.

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Toolkit for Digitally-Literate Teachers - University of Southern California Rossier School of Education

Grades
8 to 12
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Toolkit for Digitally-Literate Teachers consists of five articles provided by the USC Rossier School of Education. Useful for both teachers and school administrators, the content includes...more
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Toolkit for Digitally-Literate Teachers consists of five articles provided by the USC Rossier School of Education. Useful for both teachers and school administrators, the content includes definitions, myth busters, how-to guides, implementation strategies, real-life examples of the benefits of digital literacy in the classroom, and a list of essential digital literacy sites. This Toolkit is sure to assist any teacher in understanding the basics of digital literacy and why using technology in the classroom is critical to helping students become digitally literate.

tag(s): digital citizenship (65), media literacy (60)

In the Classroom

Although geared toward teacher professional development, use the list of skills and tools to create formative or summative assessments. Have individuals or groups of students research the topic of digital literacy using the site and then create presentations using some of the online tools suggested. Share with your administrators and other staff members.

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BrainPOP Digital Etiquette - BrainPOP

Grades
3 to 12
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BrainPOP offers this interactive site with several resources for learning digital etiquette. View the interactive video to learn proper etiquette to use while online in forums like...more
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BrainPOP offers this interactive site with several resources for learning digital etiquette. View the interactive video to learn proper etiquette to use while online in forums like message boards, blogs, gaming, emails, and instant messaging. Lesson ideas and activities provide opportunities to learn to recognize and combat online bullying and also learn essential Internet vocabulary. Be sure to check out the Lesson Ideas section with lessons aligned to Common Core Standards.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): cyberbullying (44), digital citizenship (65), internet safety (108)

In the Classroom

Use resources on this site as part of any digital etiquette and online safety lesson. Create a link to the site on classroom computers for students to explore on their own. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Thinkuknow - Crown

Grades
1 to 12
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Stay safe online and know what to do if you need help. Go to ThinkuKnow, a website dedicated to Internet safety for young people. Find safety information, how to have ...more
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Stay safe online and know what to do if you need help. Go to ThinkuKnow, a website dedicated to Internet safety for young people. Find safety information, how to have fun, stay in control, report a dangerous situation, songs, and activities geared toward educating young people about safe Internet use. Grouped by age, find information for 5-7, 8-10, 11-13, 14+, parent, and teacher areas to target the appropriate information. Some videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): digital citizenship (65), internet safety (108), professional development (134)

In the Classroom

Before you begin work with any tool on the Internet, educate students with the most important lessons, keeping safe! Choose the age group and follow the lessons together as a group on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Continue discussions on your class blog. Add parents to your blog so they can reinforce lessons on Internet safety. Then it is time to introduce the Appropriate Use for Technology permission form, and this will now make sense to kids. Bookmark this site on classroom computers so students can refer to the information. Be sure to offer as a tool for parents to review and reinforce at home. At your technology night, have this up on your projector screen while parents are entering, so all get a needed reminder. Be sure student technology clubs examine and understand the concepts. Have the student technology club make their own videos introducing safety concepts.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Kodable - Surfscore, Inc

Grades
K to 4
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Kodable teaches coding to young children through programming logic, sequence, loops, functions, and debugging. Create one free class account for an unlimited number of students with...more
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Kodable teaches coding to young children through programming logic, sequence, loops, functions, and debugging. Create one free class account for an unlimited number of students with twelve weeks of lessons. There are also informal assessment tools built into lessons that allow you to track student mastery. Find lessons with programming curriculum, explanations of key concepts, and Common Core alignment. You can play without an account; however, results are not saved. Kodable can be used on any web browser or an iPad/iOs device.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): coding (50), computers (92), logic (238), problem solving (274), STEM (150)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to learn basic coding skills. Students will quickly catch on to this program when allowed to experiment while viewing their results. Kodable is great for differentiating for students with different abilities and learning styles. Keep track of student progress through your teacher account and entering student profiles. Have more than 25 students in your class? Challenge students to work in pairs to complete the challenges.

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Digital Learning Day - Alliance for Excellent Education

Grades
K to 12
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Digital Learning Day is an annual February event spotlighting successful instructional practice and effective use of technology around the country. Choose the Learn and Explore option...more
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Digital Learning Day is an annual February event spotlighting successful instructional practice and effective use of technology around the country. Choose the Learn and Explore option to find out more about the goals of Digital Learning Day, begin with a detailed description listing the characteristics of digital learning. View exemplary models, showcases, lesson portals, and more using links provided. Sign up as a participant for Digital Learning Day then plan your own classroom activity, provide a presentation to parents, or choose from other ideas offered on the site. Explore the Take Action portion of the site to find digital toolkits sorted by subject area. Sign up isn't required; however, it does allow you to receive emails with updates and learning ideas throughout the year. In addition, The Alliance will provide all individuals signed up for Digital Learning Day with ten to twelve detailed lesson plans approximately two weeks before Digital Learning Day. The digital learning content demonstrations are conducted in four areas: math, science, language arts, and civics/social studies; critical areas, such as working with ELL or special education students, will be woven into the lessons.

tag(s): digital citizenship (65), digital storytelling (154), modeling (10), preK (291)

In the Classroom

Celebrate Digital Learning Day in your school by sharing this site and ideas for digital learning both in and out of school. Suggest to your PTO/PTA that they host a family digital learning evening on or about the same date. Bookmark and save this site to find digital learning ideas throughout the year and to plan special events for a midwinter Digital Learning Day celebration. Share with colleagues as a resource.

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