10+ Free Tools You Can Use
in Your Classroom Tomorrowpkrambeck-neta2012.jpg
Description: Looking for quick & easy free tools and ideas that you can use in your classroom tomorrow? This session will focus on a few of my favorite "finds" and I'll also share ideas on how teachers and students are using them in the classroom. From QR codes to Word Dynamo....you'll walk away with an idea (or two or three) that you can incorporate right away.
Room: Windsor VI (Embassy) Capacity: 840
Date: 4/26/2012
Time: 12:30-1:15
iBook Download: NETAKrambeck_Resources.ibooks
Download as a .pdf: Krambeck Resources.pdf
Keynote Presentation: NETA 2012 Preso.key

Tool #1: Five Card Flickr

Web Link: http://5card.cogdogblog.com/index.php

Description: This is an experimental web site that focuses on visual thinking and could be used as a "launch pad" for writing. It is based/copied from the "Five Card Nancy" game. Users are dealt five random photos from the Flickr picture site for each draw and then the task is to select one picture each time to add to a selection of 5 images that will be put together to tell a story in pictures. When users are done selecting pictures they are given the option of adding a title and explanation. Users then can save the story and share or embed the link so that others can see (and read) their story

Tool #2: Symbaloosymbaloo.png
Web Link: http://edu.symbaloo.com
Description: Symbaloo is a start page where users can add links and icons. The customizable webmix appears as buttons with icons or logos that users can drag and drop to organize. Tiles are "clicked" to launch a web page--a great tool for primary students and visual learners.

  • Classroom Connection: Provide a Symbaloo of resources for a topic such as the Civil War, the study of plant and animal cells, the Renaissance, Anne Frank, etc. OR....Allow students to put together their own "Symbaloo" on a topic and use it as a visual for their presentation/resources cited, etc.
  • Sample for the sites shared: http://edu.symbaloo.com/mix/neta-pk2012

Tool #3: A Web Whiteboard
Web Link: http://awwapp.com/draw.html
Description: "A Web Whiteboard" is an online whiteboard (you can create a link) where you simply use a web browser to access the link and begin drawing, sketching, sharing and collaborating. No installation is required and once you leave the board it is cleared. Clicking the "Menu" button gives your board a unique URL address that you can share with others to invite them into your online whiteboard. This tool is a great one for use with any technology tools--especially mobile devices (iPads, iPods, Androids, etc) and interactive boards.

  • Classroom Connection: This tool would be great to promote collaboration with mobile devices. Students could add to a word web, add their input on current events, help with math problems, or provide peer feedback on presentations. Think of how you currently use your whiteboard and how students could share in your classroom.
  • Sample to Try: http://awwapp.com/draw.html#25246dd5

Tool #4: Evernoteevernote.jpeg
Web Link: http://www.evernote.com
App for laptops (web browser access) iOS device/iPad/iPhone/iPod, and Android devices
Description: Evernote is a suite of applications and services designed for taking notes and archiving documents. A "note" can be a piece of formatted text, a full webpage or webpage excerpt, a photograph, a voice memo, or a handwritten "ink" note. Notes can be sorted into folders, then tagged, annotated, edited, given comments, searched and exported as part of a notebook. Evernote supports a number of operating system platforms (including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Chrome, Android, iOS and Web OS). Evernote also offers online synchronization and backup services.

  • Sample to Try: Link to Pam's Evernote File on NETA
  • Classroom Connection: Students can use Evernote to collaborate and share notes, plan activities, share images and audio files, as well as upload documents to use as an electronic locker. iPads and other iOS devices as well as Androids can download the Evernote app to access their documents on their mobile device. Many apps are using Evernote as a way to get app created documents to others.

socrative2.pngTool #5: Socrative
Web Link: http://socrative.com/
Student Web Link: http://m.socrative.com/ (No account required)
Teacher Access Web Link: http://t.socrative.com (teacher account required--FREE)
Room Number for Pam's Session: 14336
Description: This tool that is available as an app (student app and teacher app) for the iPad or as a tool via a web site allows the teacher to pose questions and allows students to "tap/click" in to answer a question or reply to a poll, exit ticket, feedback, etc. FREE is good when using this tool that I see as a replacement for more expensive clicker systems. Students can download the app for their smart phone, iPod touch, iPad, etc. or access the same "teacher room" via a web site. You can even leave the room open over night for students to respond as part of a homework assignment
  • Classroom Connection: Students can provide input, feedback, etc. to questions that are posed "on the fly" using existing questions from your curriculum content/textbook or ones that you create ahead of time. Teachers can gather input and then have students "vote" on the results. One teachers used this for students to contribute the "conflicts" from a passage in the book Of Mice & Men and then let the students "vote" on the conflicts that were raised. A great discussion followed the "vote."
  • Sample to Try: (Room Number is 14336)

Tool #6: Todays Meettodaysmeet.png
Web Link: http://www.todaysmeet.com
Description: A free tool with no account or login required. This tool allows a "back channel" for discussion, sharing and questions during a class or curriculum discussion. Students can share and ask questions of their peers using this "back channel" that requires very little time to get up and running.
  • Classroom Connection: Assign a "discussion jockey" to spin questions for the group and monitor the reflection, sharing and discussion that takes place. When assigning group work, have the groups report out in Todays Meet and have the other groups provide feedback.
  • Sample for NETA: http://todaysmeet.com/pk-neta

Tool #7: What Do You Love? (from Google)wdylicon.png
Web Link: http://www.wdyl.com/
Description: "New to me" this site brings together information sources on a topic with clickable information sites.
  • Classroom Connection: When students are trying to pull together a number of resources in one location, this tool will be invaluable. Try putting in a topic that students are "researching" or gathering information on or a topic for an upcoming unit of study. For this example try putting in the topic, "Solar System." The tool will bring back a page of clickable graphic images and links on the topic.

Tool #8: Go Animate goanimatelogo.png
Web Link: http://goanimate.com
Description: This is a "free" web site but at just about every screen you get an option to select a "Go Plus" character, setting, etc. as an enticement to upgrade to a paid version of the site. Because the site is so easy to use and very intuitive, it is worth the extra effort of skipping through the "Go Plus" features.
  • Classroom Connection:
    1. Vocabulary: Create an animation where two (or more) cartoon characters talk about what a word means. This would allow the students an opportunity to be a bit more creative and learning and exploring the definition of words crosses many subject areas.
    2. Biography Study: Have a character talk about the important person being studied. Students could have more than one character so there was more of a dialog. Provide the students some guidelines on what should be included such as, why the person was important and what they should be remember for, etc.
    3. Novel: Have the characters in the animation talk about the plot of a novel or a summary of the chapter that they have just read. It is a great way to check for understanding in a new and creative way. Killer Pizza Example
    4. Music Teacher Mrs. Lukow from Nebraska has a whole series of videos for you to enjoy! http://goanimate.com/user/0BeIf5iXucnI
    5. Your Idea Here.....

paperrater.pngTool #9: Paper Rater
Web Link: http://www.paperrater.com/

Description: Paper Rater analyzes and claims to improve your writing. The tool is easy to use--just copy and paste the text that you want analyzed, choose the purpose and grade level of the writing and then submit for review. Paper Rater takes a look at grammar and spelling then gives feedback on writing style and choice of words.

Tool #10: iBook Authoribook_author.jpg
Web Link: http://www.apple.com/ibooks-author/
Description: Use this free application for your Macbook to create your own iBook for the iPad, iPhone or iPod. Using the provided templates and widgets you can create a digital book in a short amount of time adding video clips, text, web links and other widgets.
  • Classroom Connection: Not only can YOU create books, but your students can do the same--digital books that can be download to iOS devices and shared with classmates, parents, and a world audience. Journalism students can explore page layout, digital yearbooks, and publishing at a whole new level. Elementary students could create picture books, illustrations, etc.
  • Sample FIle iBook Author: iPad Apps.ibooks

awesome_highligher.pngTool #11: Awesome Highlighter
Web Link: http://www.awesomehighlighter.com/
Description: This web site has been a bit "finicky" lately and some school web filters will block the site because it allows you to access a site using the "Awesome Highlighter" address. With all of the said, it is a nice tool for students (and teachers) to be able to use when wanting to "highlight" add notes, etc. to a web site.
  • Classroom Connection: One teacher used awesome highlighter to teach students how to read for content and main ideas. Students would open a selected passage or web site article and highlight the five main concepts from the reading. When reading from web pages, students sometimes have trouble getting past the page layout, the extra information that is written at various reading levels, etc. Awesome highlighter (when it works) can be another electronic tool for students regardless of platform.

Tool #12: Bingo Bakerbingobaker.gif
Web Link: http://bingobaker.com
Description: Create a bingo card (old school as a print/.pdf) or my favorite--online that can be used on an iPad or laptop computer. Once the card is created it gets a unique web address that becomes a clickable Bingo card.
  • Classroom Connection: One teacher created a Bingo card when studying Greek mythology. The "clues" were a definition/characteristics and the "answers" on the Bingo card.
  • Sample for Participants: bingobaker.com/play/3932
  • Sample for Editing/Viewing/Word List: http://bingobaker.com/view/3932