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edshelf Weekly - Digital Safety Tools

Raising a “digital native” can be a double-edged sword. Web and mobile technologies offer incredible amounts of access and interactivity. Some of it good, some of it bad. So how can we protect our little learners? This set of tools may help.

  • uKnowKids - Parents can monitor their children’s social media and mobile usage to get a better sense of their social connections.
  • Learnist - Websites and articles curated by teachers you know and trust can be a good signal of quality.
  • WatchKnowLearn - This non-profit wiki-like service contains online videos reviewed and approved by teachers for teachers.
  • Screen Time - Parents can limit their children’s iPhone usage with this time tracker. Extra time can be awarded for good behavior too.
  • Rover - This web browser for iPads includes K-12-safe content filtering, no personal data tracking, and allows Flash videos.

Want more? Check out these collections of tools created by members like you.

Enjoy these great tools for educators!

Want a fresh copy of the edshelf Weekly newsletter in your inbox too? Sign up with edshelf today!

- Mike Lee, Co-founder of edshelf


edshelf Weekly - Research Tools

Knowing how to research and find the information you seek is an important skill. Fortunately, the Internet is a vast font of knowledge. The trick is in using the right tools. Here are a few that can aid learners in their search for answers.

  • colwiz - Aimed at the university level, this free app helps students through the full research to publication process.
  • SweetSearch - This search engine for students searches through 35,000 carefully chosen primary sources.
  • DocsTeach - Helps students find and understand how to use primary sources. Includes activities built from these sources too.
  • Boolify - Become an expert web searcher by using this visual tool to construct complex Google search queries.
  • scrible - Finally, bookmark, annotate, and tag all the online documents you’ve found using this helpful free tool.

Want more? Check out these collections of tools created by members like you.

  • Research Tools - Research tools for primary school students. Curated teacher librarian Julia Boulton.

Enjoy these great tools for educators!

Want a fresh copy of the edshelf Weekly newsletter in your inbox too? Sign up with edshelf today!

- Mike Lee, Co-founder of edshelf


edshelf Weekly - Literacy Tools

Reading and writing is a core skill that pervades all other school subjects. With the focus we see on STEM-related products, it is good to see so many emerging products with their sights on literacy too. Here are a handful of notable tools for literacy education.

  • Learn with Homer - A comprehensive Common Core-aligned reading program for students ages 3-6.
  • Literably - Students read out loud into a microphone and this web-based service analyzes words correct per minute and percentage accuracy.
  • Kaizena - Record audio comments onto specific passages of your students’ essays to provide high-quality feedback.
  • PenPal News - A six-week online penpal program that builds literacy through writing about current events and real-world issues.
  • English Companion - Expand your PLN and get informal professional development with this teacher-created social network for English teachers.

Want more? Check out these collections of tools created by members like you.

  • Best Literacy Apps - A collection of useful apps to support literacy. Curated by primary school principal Andrew Earnshaw.

Enjoy these great tools for educators!

Want a fresh copy of the edshelf Weekly newsletter in your inbox too? Sign up with edshelf today!

- Mike Lee, Co-founder of edshelf


edshelf Weekly - Tools for Art and Creativity

An art student can do a lot with a physical canvas. Imagine what that student could do with a digital canvas. Here are a set of tools for students of art, though any teacher striving to be creative may find these useful.

  • Art Prompts - Need a little inspiration? Like writing prompts, these art prompts can give the creative engine a kick start.
  • Drawp - A professionally-designed yet simple drawing app for kids. Allows artwork to be shared within a parent-approved network.
  • Figure - Digital art doesn’t only have to be visual. It can include audio as well, something this simple music maker can offer.
  • MoMA Art Lab - From the Museum of Modern Art, this free app includes hands-on activities like making collages, drawings, paintings, etc.
  • Touch Van Gogh - Studying a Van Gogh painting? Packed full of information and history, all art history apps should be this interactive.

Want more? Check out these collections of tools created by members like you.

  • Creativity & Design Tools - A collection of web-based tools & apps for creativity and design. Curated by Dr. Annette Kratcoski.
  • High School Art Apps - A collection of apps that can be used by high school students. Curated by art educator Kelly Little.

Enjoy these great tools for educators!

Want a fresh copy of the edshelf Weekly newsletter in your inbox too? Sign up with edshelf today!

- Mike Lee, Co-founder of edshelf


edshelf Weekly - Tools for Creating Class Websites

A class website can be very helpful. Not only can parents use it to stay up-to-date, and students to keep track of assignments they’ve missed, but teachers can also use it as a guide for the next year. But how does a teacher find the time to maintain a class website? Here are a set of tools that can help.

  • 19Pencils - Collect all of the websites you find in this handy tool for teachers. Or use this for your class website.
  • Screenr - Introducing a new website to your students? Use this screen recorder to create a quick video tutorial.
  • Pixlr Express - Your class photos need some polish? This free tool can do everything from cropping to resizing to removing red-eye.
  • SchoolPages - If you just want a simple wiki-based class website, this free tool includes templates for common sections.
  • AnswerGarden - Here is a simple feedback widget that you can embed onto your website as a poll or guestbook.

Want more? Check out these collections of tools created by members like you.

  • Creative Tools - Mac-based apps for creating and editing graphics, audio, movies, and animations. Curated by technology trainer & consultant Jean Morgan.

Enjoy these great tools for educators!

Want a fresh copy of the edshelf Weekly newsletter in your inbox too? Sign up with edshelf today!

- Mike Lee, Co-founder of edshelf


edshelf Weekly - Flipped Classroom Tools

Making the transition to a flipped classroom can be quite a trial. Not only are you changing your daily routine and lessons, but also the software and hardware you use. If you need a hand (and who doesn’t?), here are some tools to help you flip your classroom.

  • NowComment - Turn any document into a class discussion with a commenting system that appears right next to the text.
  • Math Pickle - This free collection of hand-picked K-12 math videos is gathered together and organized by a math teacher.
  • Novation Launchpad - Create a soundtrack for your lesson plan with this feature-rich iPad music app for DJs and professionals.
  • AirWeb - If you have an Apple TV in your classroom, this iOS app lets you turn it into a gigantic yet readable web browser.
  • TouchCast - Transform your videos into interactive lessons by adding websites, polls, maps, etc. right into the videos themselves.

Want more? Check out these collections of tools created by members like you.

  • Flipped Classroom Resources - Technology coordinator Cassie Holewinski shares over a hundred tools here as part of her Flipped Classroom Workshop.

Enjoy these great tools for educators!

Want a fresh copy of the edshelf Weekly newsletter in your inbox too? Sign up with edshelf today!

- Mike Lee, Co-founder of edshelf


edshelf Weekly - Tools that Teach Computer Programming

Learning how to write a computer program is a lot like learning a new language. There are nouns, verbs, and sentences. With far fewer words than a spoken language, it may be easier too. A student of languages can pick it up just as quickly as a student of math. To help, here are a set of tools that teach computer programming.

  • KineScript - Using the same visual programming metaphor as MIT’s Scratch, this app helps students craft animated stories.
  • Kid’s Ruby - Targeted for kids, this free desktop app teaches the popular programming language Ruby.
  • ScriptKit - Build a simple mobile app using the drag-and-drop code editor of this iPad app.
  • CodeShare - Instead of a cumbersome screen-sharing app, use this free website to share the code you type in real-time.
  • Hopscotch - Also inspired by the visual design of MIT’s Scratch, this colorful iPad app introduces young students to programming.

Want more? Check out these collections of tools created by members like you.

  • Computer programming - Apps to teach everyone from children to adults how to program. Curated by adult learning facilitator Anne Sturgess.

Enjoy these great tools for educators!

Want a fresh copy of the edshelf Weekly newsletter in your inbox too? Sign up with edshelf today!

- Mike Lee, Co-founder of edshelf


From the edshelf Weekly Newsletter, March 3

Familiar with the term “teacherpreneur?” Only a few years old, this term appears to be evolving from a classroom teacher empowered & involved in educational leadership, to a classroom teacher who may also be an entrepreneur. Here are some notable products created by this new class of teacherpreneurs.

  • eduClipper - Like a Pinterest for teachers, this digital clipboard lets teachers clip and share all kinds of digital content.
  • Plickers - BYOD movement hasn’t taken hold in your school yet? Don’t fret. Your students can hold up paper cards while your phone captures their responses.
  • Quick Key - Don’t have or want to bother with a Scantron? Use this iOS app to scan your students’ multiple-choice answers and upload to your gradebook.
  • Read With Me - Deliver reading assessments sans all the paperwork with this mobile app. Record and play back reading sessions to help students improve.
  • Chalk - Save yourself even more paperwork by digitizing permission slips, parent-teacher conference forms, and more with this web-based service.

Want more? Check out these collections of tools created by members like you.

  • Teacher Tools - A collection of tools teachers can use right in the classroom. Curated by educator Sherry Lee.
  • Productivity Apps - A collection of apps to help teachers create digital content. Curated by the faculty at Avenues: The World School.

Enjoy these great tools for educators!

Want a fresh copy of the edshelf Weekly newsletter in your inbox too? Sign up with edshelf today!

P. S. Are you also a teacherpreneur with a product, or working on one? Let me know! We would love to help you in some way :)

- Mike Lee, Co-founder of edshelf


From the edshelf Weekly Newsletter, Feb 24

Looking to flex your creative muscle and build something? Here are a set of useful digital tools to help you put together all kinds of things, from websites to presentations to newsletters and more. Make something to enhance your lesson, or have your students construct something as a creative summative assessment activity.

  • QuizOperator - Project this free quiz creator onto a whiteboard to show the real-time scores of your students. Or, use it for private quizzes.
  • Apollo - Enhance your slide decks with audio and animated drawings. Then host live questions and manage the back channel of your presentations.
  • The Tweeted Times - Create a personalized newsletter based on the links tweeted by the people you are following. Articles are ranked by popularity.
  • PhotoFunia - Put your photos through this wide collection of filters to produce stunning, and even funny images. Available as a free web or mobile app.
  • MyBrainShark - Record your voice to augment your slide deck as a video you can embed on a blog. Or use this site to put together a simple podcast.
  • Posterini - Assemble an online poster with easy drag & drop controls, then share it with friends, colleagues, or students.
Want more? Check out these collections of tools created by members like you.
  • Maker/Coding Apps - A collection of “maker” apps to help students construct their learning, 21st-century style. Curated by technology coach Elizabeth Espinoza.
  • Creativity and the Common Core - A collection of useful apps for encouraging and developing creativity. Curated by educator Linda Nitsche.Enjoy these great tools for educators!

Want a fresh copy of the edshelf Weekly newsletter in your inbox too? Sign up with edshelf today!

- Mike Lee, Co-founder of edshelf


From the edshelf Weekly Newsletter, Feb 17

Reading and writing is so important that it makes up the first two of the Three R’s - reading, writing and ‘rithmetic. Here is a set of online literacy tools to help your students gain these fundamental skills. Some aid young learners, others support high school students.

  • PicLits - Display this free website on an electronic whiteboard and let your students drag & drop words onto a photograph to create poetry.
  • Hemingway - Copy & paste your text into this free website to detect long sentences, adverbs, passive voice, and other potentially unclear phrases.
  • Character Pad - Are you writing a document on an iOS device and need to add a special character, like pi or a star? This iOS app will help.
  • Google Lit Trips - Download these free Google Earth files to get a set of pinned landmarks and related media based on journeys in famous literature.
  • The Literacy Shed - A list of free literary images and videos collected by a primary school teacher. Organized in thematic “sheds.”

Want more? Check out these collections of tools created by members like you.

  • Language Arts/Reading - A collection of English language arts and reading apps. Curated by literacy coach Bobbi Sammons.

Enjoy these great tools for educators!

Want a fresh copy of the edshelf Weekly newsletter in your inbox too? Sign up with edshelf today!

- Mike Lee, Co-founder of edshelf


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