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Technology and Learning

Easel.ly is a simple web tool that students can use to create infographics and posters. Infographics are a great option for students to create and share information, i.e. their findings from research, a report on a book, the biography of a historical figure, etc. There are many templates available that students can use when creating infographics. 

Powtoon is web-based animation software used to quickly and easily create animated presentations by manipulating pre-created objects, imported images, provided music and user created voice-overs. Teachers can use it to create animated presentations of content for students to view. It can also be used by students to create an animations of what they have learned. 

Remind offers teachers a free, safe and simple way to instantly text students and parents. Teachers can send or schedule reminders, assignments, homework or motivational messages directly to students' and parents' phones. Interactions are safe because phone numbers are kept private and messages are sent with no open replies.

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Periscope is a live streaming app that allows users to broadcast live from their smartphones or tablets, take written comments from viewers, and share broadcasts on Twitter. It is an excellent tool to enhance parent involvement by sharing school events, students presentations, etc.. For up to 24 hours after its broadcast, that Scope is available for parents to watch if they were unable to catch the live streaming.

Sometimes kids just get antsy, and if they don’t have an opportunity to stretch, wiggle, and make a little noise, their energy will eventually come bursting out in the form of undesirable behavior. GoNoodle addresses this problem with its library of interactive, video-based brain breaks, each one 5 minutes or less, designed for elementary students.

Padlet is an online virtual bulletin board where teachers and students can collaborate, reflect, share pictures, etc. in a safe environment.  It is a web app that lets users post notes on a digital wall. The uses for this site in the classroom are virtually endless! It is very easy to use. Check out these 20 fantastic ideas.

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Bloomz is an app designed specifically for Parent-Teacher Communication. With Bloomz teachers can safely communicate with parents through real-time instant messaging in a closed environment. The app can be used for sharing class photos and updates, sending reminders and coordinating volunteer and conference signup. Individual teacher accounts are free. Parents love it! Coming soon: sharing videos, behavior tracking, and student portfolios.

ThingLink lets you take any image and add interactive elements (or “tags”) to it: You can embed pop-up blocks of text, videos from multiple video sharing channels, a Google Map, audio clips, a poll from Polldaddy, even embedded entries straight from Wikipedia. And in many cases, you’re not just adding a link to these other sites; you’re actually adding that thing whole – the map, for example, opens up right over the ThingLink image, rather than taking you over to another site. It is free for basic use and to create a class of up to 100 students. A finished ThingLink can be shared through a direct link, by embedding it in another website, or through social media.

Plickers is a powerfully simple tool that lets teachers collect real-time formative assessment data without the need for student devices. All teachers need is one device. Here’s how Plickers work: Teachers sign up for a free account. They create a class, assigning a number to each student. Plickers gives the teachers a unique scannable image for each student that is then printed onto a piece of paper. Each student’s image means something different depending on how they turn it when they hold it up. To gather responses, teachers simply hold up their smartphone or other iOS or Android device equipped with a reader, scan each student’s card in one smooth flow, and the results are immediately collected in one report on the teacher's device.

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If you are looking for an easy way for students to create videos take a look at Magisto. Students can simply upload a collection of photos and videos with a unifying theme, choose the style of titles and transitions, and select a soundtrack from Magisto's music library and click Create. Magisto is not a good option if students what to be able to edit the video.

Grammarly is a tool that checks your writing for grammar, spelling, usage, and mechanics. You can compose directly on the site or upload a Word, Open Office or text file and have it checked. Gram marly puts a note in the margin when a possible error is found. The free plan will check most errors but does not check for writing style or sentence structure.

Looking for an app to teach coding to your students? The Codademy site offers easy-to-naviage course modules and plenty of screen hints to help students learn coding. On their site you will find over 60 hours of free, self-paced coursework in languages like JavaScript and HTML. Points and badges are aware to users for completing certain milestone in the course.

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