This page contains teaching resources that I find useful and don’t want to forget. Please take a look! Also, feel free to chime in with other useful tools in the discussion section!
Abcya: This is a web-based tool that you can use for generating electronic word clouds. A word cloud is a form of brainstorming activity that allows students to easily tap into their prior knowledge in order to create connections with new material. It is easy, practical, and fun to use in digital form.
The website recently gave me a shout-out on Twitter 😉
Bitly: Bitly is a website that allows the user to truncate web links (URLs). Though it may seem simple, it is the perfect tool to pair with Twitter-based learning (some links take up practically all of the 140 characters!).
Bubbl.us: Bubbl.us is a terrific web-based graphic organizer that teachers and students can use to create concept maps.
Edmodo: This educational tool is a web-based program that allows students, parents, and teachers to easily communicate, collaborate, and connect with each other. The interface is kid-friendly and looks similar to Facebook. I observed a teacher who used it as a sort of virtual classroom to facilitate open discussion. Students were asked to consider the legal ramifications of the Patriot Act – specifically, whether or not they thought the legislation infringed on civil liberties. During typical class discussions, it is common for a handful of students to dominate conversation, while others simply observe or choose not to participate because they do not wish to speak in front of their peers. Edmodo allows students to virtually engage in discussion and respond to one another through online posts while the teacher moderates, comments, and facilitates discussion.
Kahoot: Kahoot is an educational game-based learning platform that provides fun, engaging competition for students. Teachers can create their own sets of questions while integrating images, videos, diagrams, and text. Kahoot is great for checkpoint quizzes and test prep. These question sets are also easily shared with other teachers.
NearPod: NearPod is a free application teachers can use to administer formative assessments if their students have access to laptops or electronic tablets. Using NearPod, students can respond in real-time to prompts created by the teacher. Meanwhile, the teacher can see each student’s response (whether it is a free-write, “drawing” exercise, or multiple choice question) to determine who has answered the prompt correctly or who needs more time. I think this is application is particularly useful for reducing the affective filter of students who may be reluctant to answer questions in front of their peers.
Newsela: Newsela is a unique reading program designed to simplify the content of real, high-interest news stories for students in grades 3 through high school. This website is great for ELLs because each story is published at one of five different reading levels that vary in structure, form and vocabulary, while the content remains the same. Newsela also provides leveled quizzes based on Common Core standards that teachers are able to use to assess the comprehension of their students. These basic options are free, while students, teachers, or parents can choose to pay for access to individual and class-wide progress tracking, tracking against Common Core standards, and individualized progress reports.
Piktochart: Piktochart is a website that helps you create visually appealing worksheets, handouts, infographics, and presentations.
PosterMyWall: Similar to Piktochart.
Social Studies Taxonomy: This is a website that identifies and describes the various social studies learning activity types (LATs). It also provides links to many different kinds of tools (digital & traditional).
#SSCHAT: SSCHAT (Social Studies Chat) is a global network that connects educators, teachers, students, parents, and policymakers. Every Monday from 7-8 pm EST, people across the country and the world participate in a moderated discussion via Twitter. Anyone can chime in, respond to the prompts, and share their ideas, tools, resources, and experiences. Every chat is archived for public viewing. I will also write a blog post about this… stay tuned.
Team Shake: Team Shake is a simple application that allows the teacher to quickly organize students into teams for projects, games, role-plays, etc.