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OK2Ask: Game-Based Learning Basics - 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.

Learn the basics
...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.

Learn the basics of game-based learning (GBL)! In this session, we will explore tools that you can use to incorporate GBL into different content areas, talk about strategies for implementing games, and discuss classroom management tips you can use while your students are learning. Participants will leave knowing how to choose a learning game for use in their setting. As a result of this session, teachers will: 1. Review the meaning of game-based learning (GBL); 2. Explore tools used for GBL; and 3. Discuss classroom management strategies to support implementing GBL. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): game based learning (158), professional development (306)

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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Geniventure - The Concord Consortium

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6 to 12
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Geniventure is a gamified, engaging way to explore genetics by breeding and studying virtual dragons. The site is developed by The Concord Consortium, a nonprofit educational research...more
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Geniventure is a gamified, engaging way to explore genetics by breeding and studying virtual dragons. The site is developed by The Concord Consortium, a nonprofit educational research organization. Geniventure includes both online and offline activities. Students play through six levels of challenges, conducting simulated experiments that generate realistic and meaningful genetic data. A free account is required and includes a full teacher guide that tracks student progress and provides teaching strategies.

tag(s): ELL/ESL (24), gamification (78), genetics (69)

In the Classroom

Geniventure is free and easy for teachers to use. You can create classes, assign activities, save student work, and track student progress. Sessions couple online gameplay with hands-on activities and labs conceptually linked to a part of the Geniventure game. All materials for Geniventure sessions are available, including daily session schedules, activity outlines lesson plans, PowerPoint slides, lists of materials for each activity, and support for English as a New Language/English Language learners (ENL/ELL). The materials are targeted toward middle school students, but can also be used in higher grade levels.

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How to Research: Ultimate Guide [+Online Tools] - IvyPanda

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5 to 12
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This handy guide provides step-by-step information on creating a research paper from start to finish. The manual begins with an overview of the three universal research purposes - exploratory,...more
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This handy guide provides step-by-step information on creating a research paper from start to finish. The manual begins with an overview of the three universal research purposes - exploratory, descriptive, and explanatory. Then, each step provides specific information on the nine essential items to complete the research. In addition, this article includes a handy image that provides a visual representation of the basic steps required for a research paper.

tag(s): presentations (8), process writing (40), Research (65), writing (294)

In the Classroom

This article is quite lengthy, but it provides students with a great deal of information on research and reporting researched information. At a minimum, share the provided link to the step-by-step image with students to use as a reference guide. For more in-depth lessons, break down the information into smaller pieces and include them in your current research project lessons. Consider using a curation tool such as Padlet, reviewed here, to share this resource and others with students to guide research projects. For example, include a column with tools for evaluating sources such as Checkology, reviewed here, and another column with online tools to create citations such as MyBib, reviewed here. Offer students an option of different tools to create and share their presentations, including Ourboox, reviewed here, to create a digital flipbook or Powtoon, reviewed here, as an option for video presentations.

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Spider Scribe - SpiderScribe.net

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4 to 12
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Organize thoughts, create mind maps, and brainstorm ideas using Spider Scribe mapping tools built with drag-and-drop technology. Free accounts for individual use offer unlimited public...more
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Organize thoughts, create mind maps, and brainstorm ideas using Spider Scribe mapping tools built with drag-and-drop technology. Free accounts for individual use offer unlimited public maps, three private maps, and storage of images and files of up to 3MB. Begin by creating a personal account with your email address and password. Next, take advantage of the demo to learn how to add and edit items using your dashboard. When ready, create a new mind map or folder by clicking the blue plus button. Next, add text, images, a calendar, maps, and files. When finished, use the share link to copy the URL, print it, or export it as an image file.

tag(s): charts and graphs (165), graphic organizers (44), mind map (24)

In the Classroom

Use SpiderScribe to create chapter or story maps as a collaborative project, or work together as a class to create a story map on your interactive whiteboard. Use this tool for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics. Use this to create family trees or food pyramids in family and consumer science. Have students collaborate (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given subject. Have students organize any concepts they study. They can color code concepts to show what they understand, wonder about, and question. Enhance student learning using SpiderScribe and ask students to demonstrate a step-by-step process, such as the life cycle of a butterfly. Include students' SpiderScribe creations as part of larger multimedia projects created using Sway, reviewed here or Google Slides, reviewed here.

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

Grades
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 (306)

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 (294)

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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Google Read Along - Google

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K to 12
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Google Read Along is an entertaining, interactive website designed to help young children learn to read. This site is currently available in English, Portuguese, Spanish, Hindi, Marathi,...more
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Google Read Along is an entertaining, interactive website designed to help young children learn to read. This site is currently available in English, Portuguese, Spanish, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, and Urdu. Read Along engages young readers with a friendly character named Diya, who provides assistance and feedback when needed. Students receive immediate feedback by earning stars for each word they read correctly. In addition, Diya will help if children are stuck on a particular word. Gamification makes learning to read fun and engaging! Students earn stars and badges and can level up to more advanced books as they become increasingly better readers. Google Read Along also tracks how many minutes students spend actively reading. A Google account is required, and enable your microphone access for your browser. Additionally, students may use an Education Fundamentals (formerly G Suite for Education) account.

tag(s): digital reading (5), ELL/ESL (24), gamification (78), independent reading (106), preK (246)

In the Classroom

Google Read Along would be a great addition to any preschool or early elementary classroom. Teachers who work with ENL students or adults learning to read may also find this site helpful. Students will gain confidence by practicing reading independently yet still get assistance if needed, all while the teacher can work with individual students or small groups. In addition, many books are cross-curricular, so they can be used to enhance instruction for other core subjects.

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National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): Lesson Plans and Activities - National Institute on Drug Abuse

Grades
5 to 12
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The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) shares valuable lesson plans and activities in both English and Spanish that teach about the dangers of drug and alcohol use for grades ...more
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The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) shares valuable lesson plans and activities in both English and Spanish that teach about the dangers of drug and alcohol use for grades 5-12. Lessons cover topics including opioids, prescription drugs, and the effect of drugs on the brain. Links include access to teachers' guides, student handouts, and any additional required materials. In addition to the lessons, other links provide conversation starters for parents, classroom resources for teachers on the effects of drugs, and supporting information for National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, commemorated annually in March.

tag(s): drugs and alcohol (27), mental health (29), red ribbon week (10)

In the Classroom

Use lessons provided by NIDA to supplement your current Red Ribbon Week teaching resources. Begin by engaging students in lessons using a resource such as IdeaBoardz, reviewed here, to identify students' knowledge of the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. For example, create a chart with two sections - one for drugs and the other for alcohol, and ask students to share information about each. Enhance knowledge using Pear Deck, reviewed here, to create real-time, interactive formative assessments that offer the ability to create quizzes in various formats. Extend learning by asking students to become creators and share their learning through a choice of multimedia resources. Some examples include using Scratch, reviewed here, to create a game teaching about the effects of drug abuse or write an interactive story using inklewriter, reviewed here. inklewriter's easy-to-use features allow students to write a choose-your-own-adventure story and share the finished product using the URL created when published.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Science with the Amoeba Sisters - Sarina Peterson and Brianna Rapini

Grades
7 to 12
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Science with the Amoeba Sisters provides high school biology resources for educators, including videos, comics, and instructions for collaborative teacher-student video creation. The...more
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Science with the Amoeba Sisters provides high school biology resources for educators, including videos, comics, and instructions for collaborative teacher-student video creation. The most robust offerings are the many videos on the Amoeba Sister's YouTube channel. Each video is less than ten minutes long; view the playlist to find content sorted by topic. Many videos are available in Portuguese and Spanish. Several videos also include downloadable recap handouts. The recap handouts are printable worksheets for students that complement each video. Find these handouts by selecting from the box for educators at the top of each video when available. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be available to you.

tag(s): body systems (41), cells (81), ecology (97), genetics (69), human body (92), mitosis (7)

In the Classroom

Biology teachers will want to book this site for use throughout the school year! Use the videos as a schema activator to engage students as you introduce new concepts. Add questions and comments to videos using edPuzzle, reviewed here, to enhance learning and student focus. Add your video and additional teaching materials to Blendspace, reviewed here, to create interactive lessons that include links to videos, handouts, interactive simulations, and images. Ask students to share their learning by offering a variety of multimedia options. For example, ask students to use Genially, reviewed here, to create an interactive diagram, or create an explainer video using a video creation tool such as Powtoon, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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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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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 (8), 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

Grades
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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Displayr - Displayr

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6 to 12
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Displayr is a data collection and visualization tool. The free version includes online reporting, data visualization, and machine learning tools. Easily share created reports or use...more
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Displayr is a data collection and visualization tool. The free version includes online reporting, data visualization, and machine learning tools. Easily share created reports or use the shared dashboard to collaborate on projects and data collection. After creating an account, use the dashboard to create a new document using the provided templates or a blank page. Then, manually add data sets or import information from your computer, Google Drive, and more. Use the dashboard tools to edit the look and features to include in your presentation. When complete, publish and share as a web page, export as an Excel, PowerPoint, or PDF or download to your device. Displayr also allows copying the embed code to add your presentation to a webpage.

tag(s): data (133), infographics (53), presentations (8), spreadsheets (23)

In the Classroom

Visit the Displayr blog page to find many ideas and examples of using this resource as a classroom tool. For example, use Displayr within your lessons to engage students through visual displays of data and information. For example, create a Displayr presentation that shares immigration trends in a specific region over time. Extend learning by creating infographics based on classroom surveys using students' spreadsheets. Enhance learning further by asking students to develop presentations that include a variety of integrated media responses that populate data shared within a Displayr page. For example, one template offers a "Bubble Gum Reach Calculator." As part of the project, ask students to use a quiz tool such as Dotstorming, reviewed here, to poll peers on their predictions on the size of bubbles or the best type of gum for producing large bubbles. Next, use Microsoft Excel to record and tally bubble results and import them to Displayr.

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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

Grades
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 (8)

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

Grades
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 - TeachersFirst

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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 (89), 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

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.

There are many digital
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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 (306)

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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