21st Century Tool of the Month for August: Thinglink

teacher stuff

Thinglink is one of my new favorite 21st Century tools! I’ve been finding new ideas for how to use it in the classroom, and the more I use it, the more versatile I find it to be!

What is Thinglink?

Click here to see a Thinglink which explains what Thinglink is!

Here are some of my favorite ways to use it:

Task Library:

Collect resources for a project or unit of study using thinglink. This shows a task library for a teacher, and a student task library is embedded (a backward plan is also embedded in this thinglink). Students and Teachers can collaboratively add to it.

  Click here to see a post I made about the essential question, “How are people transformed by their relationships with others?” using thinglink to create a task library.

Gameboards: I have used a few “game boards” for classes that I have taught for teachers this summer…

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The 50+ best free web tools for education

Here is a link to the 50+ best free web tools for education.

Triptico

Triptico is a FREE desktop app for teachers. It includes lots of easy-to-use programs such as randomizers, word magnets, and a variety of timers.

Remind101

Remind101 is a FREE computer program that allows teachers to send text messages to parents and students without actually texting or revealing your phone number. It’s done through the computer and is one-way so you cannot be texted back. You never know the numbers of those who receive the messages, and vice versa. Parents and/or students must sign up in order to receive texts, and I imagine that both parties will be charged depending on what texting plan they have. You can organize your classes on Remind101 and schedule updates to be sent at specific times in the future if not immediately. With parent permission, it would be great program for students as well (to send them reminders), since today’s kids seem to be attached to their phones.

Neato Technology

Glogster:

  • Create interactive, virtual posters
  • Must pay for Premium to have more than 10 students using the program (and I can’t find the price anywhere)

Animoto:

  • Create slide shows with pictures, music, and videos
  • FREE for 30-second videos

Dipity:

  • Make online, interactive timelines
  • Especially good for history or plotting a series of events in fiction or nonfiction books
  • FREE

Easel.ly

  • Like Glogster but more focused on infographics
  • Templates provided, or start from scratch
  • FREE

 

WebQuests

WebQuests are structured, online group assignments that lead students through the process of completing a multi-step project. The WebQuest website has examples and templates. Rather than using one of the website’s templates, you may use Microsoft PowerPoint’s kiosk feature and create a WebQuest that way while following other examples from the website.

WebQuest pros:

  • students work collaboratively
  • students gain research/computer skills
  • students get to use technology…which is exciting!
  • the entire process and expectations are laid out clearly for students

WebQuest cons:

  • takes a long time to set up
  • computers are necessary
  • links that you put into your template may not be active when students need them

Engrade

Engrade is a free website for teachers and admins (and apparently parents and students can access it) to make calendars, record grades, and take attendance. You can’t really look at any features without signing up, but it is free so there’s nothing to lose. The big downside I see is if you don’t have Internet access (such as when servers fail or when the entire school is testing and teachers cannot use the Internet). I guess that just stems from my lack of faith in technology. One of these days I’ll sign up and try it out so I can come back to this post and say some smart things.

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