A Collection of Some of The Essential Educational Web Tools for Teachers

July 29, 2015
We spent sometime during the last weekend sifting through our archive of educational tools we covered in the past and decided to bring to the forefront the titles below.The aim of this multi-purpose collection is to provide teachers with a handy resource where they can access some of the best educational tools to leverage in their instruction. This list is a work-in progress and we will be adding more to it in the next coming days.

Tools for creating instructional videos and tutorials 

1- PixiClip

Pixiclip is a wonderful tool to create step by step instructional videos to use in your flipped classroom. Like Educlipper, PixiClip provides you with a whiteboard where you can add images,text, videos, drawings, annotations and many more. PixClip also offers a nifty recording feature that allows you to record your talk while working on the whiteboard. Once your PixiClip video is ready you can then share it through popular social media outlets lie Facebook or Twitter or email its link to your students directly. If you have a classroom blog, you can grab the HTML code of your video and embed it there. Here is a step by step guide on how to create instructional videos using PixiClip.

2- Explain Everything

Explain Everything is a great interactive whiteboard that  allows you to create screencasts and video tutorials using annotation, animation, narration, importing, and exporting almost anything to and from almost anywhere. 

3- Knowmia


Knowmia Teach is a new free lesson planning and recording tool for teachers and their students. It helps you create short video lessons on any subject and publish them on Knowmia.com so students, other teachers and the public can find them. Knowmia Teach makes it easy to bring in visual aids from multiple sources, organize them in steps (like slides in a presentation) and use your own voice and fingers to bring your lesson to life. You can design each step in the lesson, record illustrations as you draw them, and create sophisticated animation sequences with a simple stroke of a finger. We also give you the ability to describe your lesson in a way that makes it simple for anyone who is interested in the subject to find your video.

Tools for creating presentations


Prezi is a powerful web tool that allows you to create visually appealing presentations. You can start with a professionally designed template from Prezi’s library then use images, text, videos and zooming features to enhance your presentation. You can also collaborate with colleagues to build presentations. Prezi is available on iOS and Android so you can create or edit your presentations on the go, then auto-sync across all your devices with ease.

2- Haiku Deck


Haiku Deck is another wonderful  presentation tool for teachers. You can use it to visually narrate stories. It provides a variety of pre-made themes and templates to choose from. You  can  use Haiku's image library to search for images to include in your slides or upload your own. One powerful feature of Haiku Deck is that it automatically resizes images and shrinks text to fit in the slides so you will not have to bother with editing and resizing images. Stories created on Haiku Deck can be shared on popular social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter, or be exported as PPT files or embedded in blog posts.

Tools for paperless classroom


“With Showbie, you can quickly and easily assign, collect and review student work on your iPad, then provide rich feedback to your students by adding annotations, text notes and voice notes directly onto their documents. Students can show their learning creatively by submitting to Showbie from thousands of compatible iPad apps, or by completing assignments with Showbie’s built in tools. Showbie keeps everyone organized with individual student assignment folders, email and push notifications.”

2- Socrative Teacher



“Engage, assess and personalize your class with Socrative! Educators can initiate formative assessments through quizzes, quick question polls, exit tickets and space races all with their Socrative Student app. Socrative will instantly grade, aggregate and provide visuals of results to help you identify opportunities for further instruction. Save time and visualize student understanding when it matters”

Tools for collecting feedback from students and for formative assessment

1-Today’s Meet
This is an excellent tool to use with students to gather instant feedback on their learning or poll them on matters related to what you teach them. Today’s Meet allows you to create rooms and invite students to join them with no sign up. It is also a very good backchannel platform where students can engage in fruitful discussions and conversations.

2- Socrative
Socrative is one of our favourite tools for getting feedback from students. Teachers can use the different question types provided by Socrative to poll their students and garner their feedback in a variety of formats using both smartphones or computers.

3- Infuse Learning

Infuse Learning provides a platform by which teachers can seamlessly engage every student on any device. Make informed decisions at the point of instruction with real-time, student feedback.

Tools for creating video quizzes

 1- Vialogues

Vialogue (Video + Dialogue ) is an online video with a group discussion feature. Vialogue allows users to interact with videos by adding time stamped comments to them. This can be a great tool for teachers to use with their students to get them engaged in video prompted discussions.To get started, upload a video, grab one from YouTube, or choose one from the growing collection on our site. Once you’ve created a vialogue, you can encourage thoughtful conversations by posing questions, adding polls, and replying to comments. You can even embed a vialogue into your website, LMS, or blog!


VideoNotes is a free web tool that allows students to take notes on a video they are watching. The notes are synchronized with the video being watched. The good thing about VideoNotes is that it is integrated into Google Drive which means that students will be able to save their notes directly to their Drive account and access, edit, and work on them anytime they want. All the notes are time-stamped.

3- Edpuzzle

This is a web tool I have just learned about from my colleague David Kapuler. Edpuzzle allows you to use only what you need from any video, insert audio notes or record over a video with your voice, and add questions at any point in the video and track your students' understanding.

Tools for creating posters

Canva

Canva is by far our favourite. Canva provides a Flyer section where you can have access to a plethora of ready-made  templates to choose from. Using Canva’s drag and drop interface, you can insert your photos, text and customize your input the way you like. Once done, you can print or download your flyers to share with others. Canva is also available as an iPad app.

 PosterMaker

PosterMaker allows you to create real printable poster or flyer design. Add text, images, sketches and doodles, shapes, and clip art. Customize fonts, background colors, text alignment, positioning, and scaling. Crop, pan, zoom, and adjust image transparency.

Tools for creating portfolios

Pathbrite

Pathbrite is a wonderful platform that allows users to create academic digital portfolios using different media. Pathbrite offers different templates for users to choose from and each portfolio can include things like : Google Docs, letters, Youtube and Vimeo videos, transcripts, popular social media websites like Facebook, LinkedIn. Pathbrite also lets you important your materials like PDFs, Docs, Pictures, Videos and many more. Each portfolio created by Pathbrite can be shared via email or social media.

 Silk

Silk is a web tool that you can use to create beautiful webpages where you can create, edit, and share your digital portfolios. Each page comes in with a variety of themes to choose from. Silk gives you more ways to structure and visualize your content. A Silk page consists of collections that hold together similar pages, and supports raging important bits of information on each page.

Weebly

Weebly is a platform that lets you set up a web page in a matter of few clicks. It also provides pre-set themes and templates to use with your webpage and provides you with powerful authoring tools to add materials and cease content on your pages.

A Great Kids App for Creating Beautiful Picture Collages

July 28, 2015
Pic Collage for Kids is a wonderful iPad app for elementary and middle schoolers. It’s from the same creators of the popular Pic Collage we reviewed awhile back. This app is designed particularly for young learners to help them create amazing collages and enhance their creative thinking.


Pic Collage for Kids offers over 80 good looking backgrounds for kids to use as a backdrop for their collages. It also provides a wide variety of interesting tools to enhance kids visual expressivity. These include things such as free stickers, fun fonts, clippers and many more. Other important features provided by the app include:

  • Safe for all ages and perfect for classrooms, no social features.
  • Import photos from your photo library.
  • Simple touch gestures to rotate, resize, flick to delete.
  • Easily "Clip" photos by outlining the area you want with your finger.
  • Hundreds of free stickers that are fun and creative, perfect for you and your kids!
  • Over 80 colorful backgrounds.
  • Choose square or portrait layout.
  • Just tap on the lower-left Frame icon, and swipe to select a frame to make an instant collage!
  • Collect your favorite images to your collected folder
  • Double-tap a photo to clip photo, adjust borders, duplicate images and "flip" stickers!

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Add Some Artistic Flair to Your Lesson Plans Using These Awesome Apps

July 27, 2015
Adorn your lesson plans and presentations with beautiful imagery and stylish flourishes using these creative iOS apps. From creating collages and decorating photos to drawing in 8-bit color pixels and identifying fonts, these apps can help add some artistic flair.


Pic Collage for Kids :
Create collages with this free kid-friendly iOS app.
 Draw 8-bit color graphics using this free iOS app.
Identify almost any font by taking a picture of it with this free iPhone app.
Decorate your photos with a variety of labels and stamps using this iOS app.


Want more? Check out these shelves of tools

ASD1 Digital Innovation Art Apps 
This one is  curated by teacher librarian Tamara Cox.
This is curated by educational designer Dana Hawkins.


By Mike Lee, Co-founder of edshelf

Here Is A Great Alternative to Google Forms

July 27, 2015
For those of you looking for a good alternative to Google Forms, JotForm is a great tool to start with. It allows you to easily create beautiful forms that you can share with others or embed in your class website or blog. It also provides a wide variety of themes and ready-made templates to utilize when building your forms. You can choose from over 2000 form templates that will help you jump start with your forms. The theme store features over 10 great looking themes and if you want to add your personal touch to the forms you create, JotForm is highlight customizable.


JotForm has an easy to use form designer. Using its drag and drop form builder you can create your forms in minutes. Some examples of the forms you can build  include: Contact forms, application forms, payment forms, event registration forms, surveys, RSVP forms, reservations forms, donation forms, upload forms, feedback buttons, Facebook forms, volunteer signup forms, request forms, booking forms and many more. When someone completes one of your forms JotForm emails the responses to you instantly.

JotForm integrates seamlessly with Google Drive and Dropbox. The free version of JotForm provides some pretty decent features (e.g 100 monthly submissions, 100 MB space, unlimited forms, reports and fields per form).

Courtesy of Edsurge

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Some Excellent Websites for Finding Educational Android Apps

July 27, 2015
If you are using Android-operated devices in your instruction you probably are facing the challenge of finding reliable websites that curate Android educational apps. Another challenge is the fact that many popular  educational apps are only available for iOS devices creating thus a huge deficit in the education section in Google Play app store.

To help you have a quick access to trending educational apps for Android, here is a list featuring some of the best websites that provide curated content specifically tailored for Android educational community. We have also added some of our trusted sources where you can find good deals on Android apps.

1- Android Apps for Teachers


This is our board on Pinterest where you can access hundreds of Android educational apps we have reviewed over the last couple of years.

2- Graphite

Common Sense Graphite is definitely one of the best platforms for curating educational apps and tools. Reviews are done by teachers for teachers. You can use its search functionality to refine your search and only target apps that work on a given platform. To search for educational Android apps, select ‘Apps’ in the type category and scroll down to App Devices and click on ‘Android’.

3- Edshelf


This is another great website for user-generated reviews of educational apps and tools. To search for Android apps on Edshelf, head over to this page, under Platform select ‘Android tablet’ then use other search criteria such as subject, age, category to further refine your query.

For places to find good deals for Android apps, check out these apps:

1- AppDeals. Great Apps on Sale


‘AppDeals, a simple and beautiful way to find the best apps and games on sale in Google Play.AppDeals checks over 50,000 apps every hour to make sure you get the best deals straight away via notification.’

2- AppSales. Best Apps on Sale


App Sales, as its name indicate, features the best sales for Android apps and games. Some of its features include: get notified about new sales, set your own filter (discount, downloads, category), get informed about other versions (e.g. lite, HD) and many more.

The Popular Grading and Collaborative Platform Chalkup is Now Available for iPad

July 26, 2015
The popular tool Chalkup is now available for iOS bringing thus the platform’s assignment, grading, messaging, and notification features to iPad and iPhone. For those of you not familiar with Chalkup, this is a a great web tool that allows teachers to create classes and share different study materials on a message board that students can access in real-time. Chalkup lets you post discussion prompts, add comments to discussions, distribute announcements and assignments and view files.


'Chalkup lets you connect your entire class via assignments, discussions, grading, personalized to-do lists, messages, and materials in the palm of your hand. As a class collaboration platform, Chalkup keeps students, teachers, parents, and administrators connected. We’re optimized for discussion and collaboration and our users are pretty happy people.'