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Top 20 Websites No Teacher Should Start the 2010-2011 Year Without


Jul21

I have to tell you that it was a tough call to make these decisions, especially when we’re talking every teacher no matter what grade level or subject, but I hope that you find a couple of gems to put away in your virtual treasure box. You may have others you’d like to add to the list. Please post them in the comments for all of us to explore.

A great photo editing tool is a must for teachers and I recommend Aviary, LunaPic, Picnik, or BeFunky with some being simpler than others, but all having unique features. Explore all the tools and choose the best option for your skill level.

Creaza and Jaycut are answers to the Windows XP Movie Maker and Flipcam problem. Both of these sites have online video editing tools where Flip videos can be uploaded for easy manipulation. Creaza also has a wonderful alternative for GarageBand and a rather incredible comic creator.

Delicious or Diigo are online bookmarking networks teachers need. Inevitably a wonderful link is shared with us that we think, “Oh, I know I’ll use that later” and then we forget what it was. Using one of these resources lets teachers save bookmarks in a webspace and allows networking.

Doodle is a groovy scheduling tool teachers can use when setting up a collaborative work meeting or building social committee event. One user creates the Doodle and shares the link with others. Everyone can share time availability and determine the prime meeting date.

Dropbox is one of my absolute favorite tools shared with me by Intel Teach buddies Glen Westbrook and Jill Summers. Dropbox is a 2 GB e-vault tool that allows teachers to drop files in an online folder and sync it with multiple computers. For example, I might create a file on my MacBook at school, move it into my Dropbox folder and then open it up on my Dell at home. No jump drives to lose or accidentally wash and no email files that are too large to send. Plus, as an added bonus, I can create collaborative folders in Dropbox to share with partner teachers. Love it!

Edmodo – Definitely my #1 favorite tool on the web for creating a social network within a classroom or amongst all the teachers in a building. It’s simply easier to have files, links, and discussions held in one location. I am going to encourage our principal to set up a group in Edmodo for all building communications which can reduce the number of papers in teacher inboxes significantly.

Free Tech 4 Teachers and Larry Ferlazzo tie for this slot as these are amazing resource blogs for any teacher. You know the commercial, “There’s an App for That!” These fellas are the ones who can share those apps. Bookmark them, add them to your Google Reader, and visit often for excellent resources all year long.

Glogster.EDU is one of those tools that opens dozens of lesson ideas to foster creativity and higher order thinking skills. No more will we have poster boards dropping off the walls in the hallways or students covered in Crayola markers down their arms. With Glogster teachers and students can create interactive posters for research, websites, presentations, reflection, and more.

Google Language Translator does a fairly decent job of language translation. Although we all know languages do not automatically translate due to grammar structure, idioms, etc. this tool does basic translation well if needed.

Google Tools for Educators. Here teachers can receive training on how to use the Google Suite of Docs, Reader, Picasa, and more plus find out what new and innovative things Google is adding. It’s a never-ending world of innovation for us this year.

LiveBinders is one tool that certainly is gaining teacher popularity this summer. For those moments when teachers need to share a set of links, create a webquest, Internet scavenger hunt, or content related sites with parents, this tool is the perfect ticket.

MyWebspiration and Dabbleboard (thanks McTeach) are brainstorming collaboration tools perfect for unit plan design, party planning, or big school event planning such as Field Day or as a great high school chemistry teacher I know who plans Mole Day each year.

Photos8 and Pics4Learning are two public domain image sites that are simply wonderful for student use. I’ve raved on these before, but teachers definitely need to bookmark them for student projects.

Prezi – Yes, I do enjoy Microsoft Office and Google Documents, but I really dig Prezi for student presentations. The concept of how it creates the “real” visual aid and allows for video embedding took my students to a different level during the speech unit this year. The tool does take a bit to figure it out, but with the excellent tutorial videos and a couple of clicks, the students are off and running.

Social networks such as Twitter, Plurk, DEN, Thinkfinity, and Intel communities are listed because every teacher needs a PLN - a place to connect with other teachers of similar subject and content areas. This is especially critical for those teachers in small schools where there may only be one or two teachers in a department. Believe me, when I was the sole member of the “English Department” for a year, my staff meetings went great, but it was difficult not having a support group. Now teachers can simply jump in, join in pedagogical conversations, share resources, and grow.

Troovi is simply a brilliant little gem for teachers collecting photos from multiple student digital cameras. Simply grab the URL directly above the logo and share it with the whole class. Students simply upload the images from their cameras to that URL (no login required) and within seconds everyone has an online album to share. No more having to bring the digital cameras up to the teacher’s desk one at a time. Yay!

Voicethread –From digital storytelling, reflection, photo essays, and more, this tool has been one of my students’ favorites. Also be sure to check out Voicethread for Educators Ning for ideas on using the tool.

Wordsmyth and Lexipedia are the dictionary and thesaurus tools I recommend. Where Wordsmyth offers a beginner’s picture dictionary along with a full dictionary, Lexipedia makes using a thesaurus fun.

Zamzar and MediaConverter for file conversions and Youtube downloads. Yes, there are always moments in the year where students turn in Microsoft Works or Word Perfect files that simply do not open nicely on a school computer. Zamzar will convert those files on top of downloading YouTube videos.

Honorable Mention for US teachers - Netflix is a service that I think every school library should have a subscription to check out documentaries and other films that aren’t easily accessible in most communities. In all honesty, I believe Netflix needs to start an education side of their service specifically for teachers and libraries to utilize, especially with all the films that can be streamed directly to a computer. I use Netflix significantly throughout the year for my classroom and encourage many of my peers to subscribe, as well.


posted by
7/22/10

I love this list! And it's manageable in size; every teacher ought to be able to quickly find a handful of new tools to start trying out right away. A few I can't live without: Facebook - I create a teacher page to interact with the students out of class, but in a public way; Skype and ePals, which help our class connect with classes, authors and experts from around the world; and SweetSearch, which is a search engine for students that only searches results approved by teachers and librarians and research experts.


posted by
7/23/10

Thanks Samantha-a comprehensive list for everyone.


posted by
7/25/10

Love the post @Mrs_Smoke. Plan on sharing with our staff at the beginning of the new school year.


posted by
7/25/10

I'm already using about 1/3 of these, and love them all, so I can't watch to check out the rest of the list. Please, please, please share this list with your fellow teachers who aren't yet incorporating technology into their classroom. Let them know they don't have to be an expert at each of these technologies before incorporating one into class - just know that it comes highly recommended, it's basic purpose, and the kids will help you figure the rest out! Mary, I also love SweetSearch, as do my 4th graders, and I can't wait to introduce them to SweetSearch4Me, which just came out and is created for younger students.


posted by
7/30/10

So glad you're back! Great post. I was "cleaning" out my PLN RSS feeds and almost removed Making Teachers Nerdy to a resource page instead. No way now, you remain prominently on my PLN Alpha page! Your Edmodo post is giving me courage, as I too, will be moving into a blended Ed Tech teaching and teacher/librarian collaboration position in the fall.


posted by
7/31/10

These are great tips. Thanks for the awesome list. Our district's filter (state filter, actually) blocks Netflix and I used to use some of the streaming now videos in my film study class... I understand why they block it... possibly because you can stream rated R films, no? What recommendations do you have to pass on to our school district tech coordinator that might get them to rethink that.


posted by
7/31/10

A fantastic post which I shall certainly be sharing with our staff and other teachers with whom I network. Thanks so much!


posted by
8/03/10

I am writing to introduce you to PIPO ONLINE GAMES: www.pipogames.com.

In PIPO GAMES you will find Pipo’s online adventures and the online section for toddlers.

TODDLERS
Games that introduces very young children to the world of the computer.
All the activities have been created so that the children, while having fun,
are stimulated and without realizing it they acquire the skills necessary to learn efficiently.

PIPO’S ONLINE ADVENTURES
You will find the latest versions of the Pipo products on cd-rom in the shops, but here they are online, so you can play them without the cd. You need only an internet connection. These are themed products with fun learning goals, which you reach when you sucessfully complete all the activities: Maths, Geography, English...

We invite you to try out these games and I also want to tell you that you can post Pipo GAMES (4 in total, which change daily) on any blog or website for free. It's very easy. Check the instructions here:
http://www.pipogames.com/webonline/webingles/minigames/instrucciones.htm


posted by
8/14/10

I think this is a great list and as a teacher will use many. I understand the challenge of choosing tools that fit every grade level and subject. Middle school, which I teach is especially tough, but these suggestion will help. Please check out our site www.historytunes.com if you want to creat a list of sites for secondary social studies teachers. We launched this site a month ago and have been recieving positive feedback from teachers and administrators alike. The site offers 50 pop songs that tell the key events of American History and these songs used in conjunction with our extensive online resources provide a complete American History curriculum which embrace the use of iPods and the internet. And the APP will be coming soon! So check us out, and thanks again for this great list!


posted by
8/28/10

@Mrs_Smoke Awesome post! I am going to share it with my staff. I am really excited to learn about all the cool tools that can be used with digital images. Thanks for putting this together.


posted by
8/29/10

Ahhh!! I teacher after my heart! Fantastic, you nailed so many tech links and many new to me. Thank you Thank you.
I feel your list requires Wikispaces.com This is NOT for the faint at tech-heart. 1st it is free for teachers. 2nd and most importantly is that with google docs and the gadgets (widgets) [tomato tomAHto]...it has many EASY automatically updated gadgets that lets you show case student work in one place. Example:
1. On my wiki I have google docs linked to graph student reading logs via student identified letters - I update google graph.. wiki updated automatically
2. I have voicethread (5 star) I have pictures of a page from student books showcased with each student reading the passage to showcase their fluency. WIDGET on the wiki for parents to see.
3. Flicker widget showcasing student trips, projects... all slide show widgets.
4. LAST ONE. BEST ONE. I have my DIIGO account linked so when I save a link to Diigo tagged.. language or math or science... it automatically updates my wiki widget with the new link for my students to use.
So much out there I feel the wiki really reals it in to SAVE time, SHARE information and it makes it easy.
For my wiki info & answers to your questions.. I would be happy to share like Sensational Mrs. Smoke.. Twitter me: @MrKirby

Gr. 2/3 Class
HPEDSB


posted by
8/30/10

i love your list-one suggestion to add to voice tech is Voki:
http://caffinatedcarbivore.blogspot.com/2010/08/history-live.html


posted by
8/30/10

Symbaloo is another very promising tool (same principle as Livebinder)
http://www.symbaloo.com/shared/AAAAA-KktzMAA41_V6XFMg==


posted by
9/20/10

hey! How did you get a Voki into your blog?
Do you encode it? plz send directions to me www.caffinatedcarbivore.blogspot.com


posted by
10/25/10

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posted by
11/08/10

This is SUCH a helpful list for teachers. thank you.


posted by
11/13/10

This is a really great list, thank you. Another great free resource is www.twistynoodle.com. Twisty Noodle has handwriting practice worksheets that can be customized by changing the font and text... good for ages 3-8.


posted by
12/13/10

I adore Dropbox. It is very useful.
For sound effects and audio files I usually go to:
http://www.sound-effects-hunter.com/
It is free and growing, simple layout and easy to use.


posted by
12/16/10

Great list!
I would add http://Enterthegroup.com to the list. It's a great free service that allows students to manage group projects online and teachers to create online classrooms.


12/23/10

This list is great! Another resource I would like to add is the Habitat for Humanity website. The site now offers lessons plans, worksheets, assessments, online courses, and other resources for students in grades 3-12 to help teach them about housing issues around the world. You can find them here: http://www.habitat.org/Habitat_Learns/default.aspx


posted by
1/29/11

This is really great. I noticed you listed edu.glogster. You might want to check out this link to a Glogster Poster that demos many of the sites your talked about, and more like blogs, organizing sites, even a rappin math teacher! http://liebermanc.edu.glogster.com/glog-9993-8940/


posted by
2/27/11

Great list.


posted by
3/04/11

Recently I've been trying out a new site with my students when we get to use the computer suite: www.myvocabbook.com

It's like a traditional paper vocabulary book but with some great advantages: organise by category, more space for examples, see the flashcards you struggle with more often etc

The best bit is that you are able to link accounts and share vocab. So, my LESSON IDEA:
assign each pair of students a different article on a given topic. They find and record new/interesting vocab from it in MyVocabBook. We then go through the vocab gathered together as a class, and it's all in one place for the students to revise later at home!

The students are definitely retaining the vocab they come across now!


posted by
4/12/11

I am a huge fan of any list that encourages teachers to use digital tools to help them in the classroom. Now that the Spring semester is gearing up for finals (and ISTE 11 is coming up), I look forward to hearing more about new tools on the scene.

A new player to the educational technology game is Collaborize Classroom, a free online learning platform that was just released this January. It is a web-based, private community where students can expand on in-class activities and collaborate online.

+Shana, digital media + pr manager for Collaborize Classroom
http://CollaborizeClassroom.com


posted by
4/17/11

I actually recommend Copyscape for teachers. I use this useful tool for checking plagiarism. Music and Singing Salary


posted by
4/28/11

Girls are easily delighted by beautiful

Tiffany

things, usually.
Girls are easily delighted by Tiffany, always. Dressing yourself up, looking at

the mirror, then advance yourself one more step further with a pair of Tiffany

Rings. When you are looking at your jewellery box, will you sometimes think that

you need one more piece of

Tiffany Bracelet

?

This is the moment that you need to delight yourself with one more Tiffany. Throw

away your last piece of hesitation and act now!


posted by
6/06/11

I'm a few months late for the 2010/2011 school year, but this article has some good, still relevant info for sure. I'm pursing a master's in educational technology, and these sites will come in handy for my final project. Just wanted to share a few additional things... maybe useful for 2011/2012?!

I've been playing around with Moodle-- a tried and true CMS for educators. My feelings were that in terms of functionality, it's a bit antiquated. I liked the idea that Edmodo is closed-network-- lots of my co-workers use it because it's free. A good (maybe better?) option than Facebook for sure... if Facebook ever had the intention of functioning as an appropriate platform for education, I think they would have gone that route already. Something in between that is quite neat is http://www.socialmaestro.com. It's a closed network intended for education, like Edmodo. It functions like Facebook, so it's familiar to students. It has a pretty easy to use gradebook feature (the one on Moodle stumped me). It's sort of like Dropbox in that it offers free online storage for both students and teachers. My two favorite features are the ability to assign group and class discussions-- the kids dig it-- and the SMS texts/email updates to parents. It's keeping the students on task!! I'm going to stick with this site and see how it goes next year... I just dabbled with it this year. I highly recommend it!


posted by
7/17/11

Every year, I "battle" with my students about using their cell phones in class (English Grade 12). It is a losing "battle." After reading all the information on mrssmoke.onsugar.com -- I had an epiphany --
since we will NOT have any textbooks this year from which to teach...why not have the student use her/his cell phone"log-on" to an internet site that has the reading material, I want use use..example: Beowulf. Wish I would have thought of that before. Now I foresee no "battles" If a student does not have a cell phone or wi-fi access - they can share with another student. What do you think? PS Of course, I will have to walk the room and make sure students are where they should be. Let me know. Thx


posted by
8/10/11

Great list of resources for teachers! I have tried using the social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook to network with other teachers, and they're ok. I did find a social networking site (that is supposed to have Facebook functionality) that is exclusively for teachers. It looks like it's going to be launched soon. It might be a good forum with less of the "static" of a more general social networking site. It's called EducatorsCONNECT. (Visit it at: http://educatorsconnect) Who knows? It looks like it could be useful.


posted by
8/10/11

I mistyped the link. It was supposed to be: http://educatorsconnect.com


posted by
9/01/11

Awesome List. Glogster is one of my classroom favorites.

For social studies teachers...her's a pretty great textbook supplement. Very appealing for the visual/ techie learner.

www.gosocialstudiesgo.com


posted by
9/18/11

This is a really great list. I have used many of the items listed, but still find some great ideas. It's nice to have them in one place.

Thanks!
http://martinteach.edublogs.org


posted by
9/28/11

very interesting blog,thanks

http://nikepromocode.org/


posted by
1/04/12

I'd like to suggest my own website...
Last year I gave up teaching in order to concentrate on website design with another colleague who was also a teacher. We specialise in what people call 'brochure' websites because we don't like blogs. We've grown pretty good at creating teacher websites - you'll find a few in our recent projects section. Basically, if there are any teachers out there looking for their own website to help find private work, we'd love to help.
We're called 'beendesigned' and the website is at http://www.beendesign.org
Thanks.


posted by
6/12/12

This is a great list of educational resources! I appreciate you making this list and I have added edmondo into my delicious.com account! I am going to talk to the IT guy at my school about dropbox and see if I can introduce it to my middle and upper grade students in the fall!


posted by
4/22/13

Seriously, you are posting amazing articles. feeling great to join with you.

http://www.examsinformer.com



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