These digital resources and tools for creating, collaborating, researching, and sharing can be found in the Great Minds Curriculum Maps. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list, as the technologies are constantly evolving. Consider it a beginning!
Free Online Resources
A blog is similar to a diary, but it is posted on the Internet where others can read and respond to it. It provides students an opportunity to write for an authentic audience.
These programs allow teachers to store bookmarks in one place, and allow others to access them. Delicious and Diigo are social bookmarking tools because they allow you to see what others are bookmarking in areas of interest.
Edmodo is an easy and engaging way to manage assignments, provide a way for students to communicate and create an online classroom.
Students can easily create and share interactive posters.
Google Docs is “storage in the clouds” — a place that allows many students to collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and forms.
Google Earth lets students view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, canyons of the ocean, and other features and physical locations from their computers.
These are additional websites that provide useful information for technology integration.
Jing allows students to take pictures or make short videos of what they see on their computer monitor. It helps students see how others “think aloud” or follow “how to” directions.
Online Survey Tools
Online survey tools allow students to collect and review data on a variety of topics.
Open Educational Resources
This page provides an annotated list of websites with OER (Open Educational Resources) for education teaching materials.
Picasa (owned by Google) is a tool for easily organizing and editing pictures. Photos can be shared securely, requiring a password to view.
A podcast is an audio or video recording that’s available on the Internet. Students can easily create these as assignments.
SAT/ACT Vocabulary Builders
This is an online site where students can view videos to help build their vocabulary. Students can create their own video, in iMovie or Jing, after seeing examples on this site.
Skype is a free “video conferencing” service. Classes can use it to collaborate with students and teachers all over the world. Classes can also use Skype to videoconference with an author or other people for research and other purposes.
VoiceThread is a tool that allows students to create narrated stories and makes it easy for other people to comment on the stories.
Teach students to use web browsers for research, key word searches, responsible Internet use, etc.
- Internet Explorer
- Mozilla FireFox
- Safari, etc.
A WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented lesson format in which most or all the information that students work with comes from the web.
A wiki is a website that allows for collaborative creation and editing of web information.
Wordle is a visual cloud that picks out the most common words typed in text and gives them prominence by increasing size, making it easy to ascertain the essence of any text simply by looking at the cloud.
Open Text Resources
University of Virginia Text Collection
UVA’s library website.
Folklore and Mythology Electronic Texts
A comprehensive library of folktales, folklore, fairy tales, and mythology.
An independent literary organization dedicated to promoting poetry to the widest possible audience.
Offers high quality e-books for free download.
A free Internet publisher of literature, reference works, and poetry.
The American Academy of Poets
Biographies and news of over 500 American poets.
The Poetry Archive
A specific site geared toward bringing poetry into the classroom, including lesson plans and activities.
A database of poetry.
The top 500 classical poems collected into one site.
A collection of free audiobooks for the public domain.
A collection of free e-books for the public domain.
Representative Poetry Online
The University of Toronto’s collection of over 3,000 poems.
Programs and Software
Outlining stories in comic/story-board format helps scaffold students to the essence of a story. In addition, creating comics is engaging and inspires creativity. This program is easy to use, and the possibilities are endless.
This is a visual learning tool that allows students to develop and organize their ideas.
Discovery Education Streaming
This site provides digital instructional materials that take students beyond the textbook. The streaming videos are safe from advertisements and inappropriate material (a potential hazard of YouTube), and can help build students’ background knowledge on topics in a visual manner.
This is a recording studio that students can use to create music.
This is a way to make stories “come alive.”
A visual learning tool that allow students to develop and organize their ideas.
Keynote is a program that allows students to create stylish mixed-media presentations on a Macintosh computer.
Kidspiration is a program that allows students to visually web/map understanding of words and concepts. Free Alternative: bubbl.us
PowerPoint is a presentation program that allows users to create mixed-media presentations on a PC.
Prezi allows for more engaging/interactive presentations.
SlideRocket is a web application that allows students to collaboratively create stunning-looking PowerPoint-style multimedia presentations, which can then be viewed and shared online.
This is an iPod “app” that allows students to create electronic storybooks.
Students use Microsoft Word for writing papers, editing, annotating, etc.
Tools and Hardware
A very student-friendly tool. Photos may be used in many different types of classroom lessons. Here are a few applications that your digital camera may be used for:
- illustrating steps in a procedure, to aid in writing “how to” paragraphs
- using a photo as a prompt for narrative or descriptive writing
- providing images for a school newspaper, class newspaper or newsletter
- supplying graphics for written reports and presentations
- e-mailing class updates to parents, with attached photos
- providing images for class books
- taking photos on field trips, to aid in writing about them later
- publicizing a class play or project
- creating a digital class archive
- demonstrating vocabulary, emotions, compare/contrast
- observing weather over a period of time
- creating student portfolios
- illustrating the process for complicated projects
- developing a student-generated, graphical web research site as a school showcase
Document Camera (“ELMO”)
This tool is a camera mounted on a stand, which is hooked up to an LCD projector. This allows the teacher or student to place books or documents under the camera and project its image onto a screen for the all to see.
These are two different brand names for similar tools (Smart Board, Activeboard, etc.): whiteboards that allow for interaction using special pens.
With an iPod Touch, the possibilities are endless. These devices offer learning in the palm of the students’ hands, and access to many of the sites/programs above.
Flip Video Camera
Another very student-friendly tool.
- Record performances, projects, field trips, and presentations and upload them to the web
- Record student progress over time (i.e., fluency)
- Record themselves teaching (as a self-assessment)
- Record special experiences such as interviews or trips
- Create “book talks”
- Make commercials or advertisements, to record responses to books, projects, lessons, and units
- “Sister” schools can record video and upload to the web to share experiences or collaborate on a project