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Tocomail Online Communication Tool for Kids

5 Jun
New Mail openTocomail provides fun and safe online communication for kids. Kids can use Tocomail to send messages to family members and friends, and it is great as classroom communication service. Since I first wrote about Tocomail, a lot of new options have been added. This includes single click audio and video messaging, texting, and updated interface. With Tocomail kids can send emails and text messages and use a drawing board with a lot of fun tools. Kids can use it to draw and send picture messages including holiday or birthday postcards and greetings.
Tocomail_Web_Mailbox-2Tocomail is available for free on the desktop on iPhones, iPads and Android phones/tablets. With simple yet effective parental controls no message will get to or from the child unless it is coming from a safe contact or was approved by parent or teacher. Tocomail also detects profanities and bullying patterns, quarantines such messages and immediately notifies parent or teacher.  With summer break approaching, Tocomail can help students stay in touch with their friends and practice digital literacy skills.
Learn more by visiting Tocomail’s website!

PowerUp WHAT WORKS Free Resource Library

29 May

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 8.35.30 AMPowerUp WHAT WORKS resources for struggling students and those with disabilities are now available in the OpenEd resource library. OpenEd is the creator of the world’s largest online collection of standards-aligned resources that I shared earlier this year.  PowerUp provides customizable materials, lesson plans, instructional strategies, videos and more to enhance learning for students with diverse needs, and to personalize learning with technology and Universal Design for Learning.

PowerUp WHAT WORKS and OpenEd screens hot 1The PowerUp resources are completely free for OpenEd users.  Teachers can use customize materials, such as instructional strategies, case studies and tech tips, to both enhance and guide lesson planning.  It provides teachers with a powerful and effective way to reach all students, including  struggling students and those with disabilities.  PowerUp can support teachers looking to  create instructional content to meet the needs of every student. It encourages the integration of technology tools to personalize instruction and translate ULD principles into practice.

Learn more about OpenEd and PowerUp WHAT WORKS resources by visiting their website!

History Channel Apps for Multiple Mobile Devices (from Android to Apple Watch!)

24 May

Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 9.59.08 PMThe History Channel is a great resource for multimedia to share with students.  In addition to their website they have a handful of of mobile apps designed for users with access to multiple types of devices.  It’s a terrific option for classrooms with different types of tablets.  You might even share this list with students and their families so they can explore history outside of school hours.

Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 9.59.29 PMThe HISTORY app is available in the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, Amazon App Store, Windows Store,

Their travel app HISTORY HERE is great for virtual field trips and available on the Apple App StoreGoogle Play Store.

Ultimate History Quiz is available on the Apple App Store and for BlackBerry devices.

There are even more apps from the History Channel to check out on their website.

Check out my bundle of Common Core aligned Social Studies iPad lesson plans!

Translate Websites into Different Languages for Parents and Students

23 May

Google Translate is an amazing website that lets users translate text into another language.  With a simple copy and paste you can take a message in one language and translate it to another.  Although this tool isn’t always perfect it’s a great online resource for teachers looking to communicated effectively with families and students.  In addition to translating text, Google Translate can also work on websites.  Copy and paste the link to the website you would like translated and it will pop up in your screen with words changed to the language of your choosing.

Try it out with a current events article for students or a website with resources for parents!

Take a look:

Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 2.59.07 PM Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 2.58.53 PM


TIME Edge: Engaging Nonfiction and Digital Literacy Resource

19 May
Content_timelineStudents need experience navigating digital text and reading nonfiction.  TIME Edge is a web-based platform that is accessible through any browser on any device.  It includes engaging tools and multimedia features to take students deeper into the current events articles.   Aligned to English Language Arts standards for 7th and 8th graders, this is a terrific resource for informational text and Social Studies instruction.
Sign InTIME For Kids is a well-known K-6 classroom resource and TIME Edge extends this to middle school students exploring informational text related to current events.  Articles are written specifically for 7th and 8th grade students, with lower-level reading options for teachers looking to differentiate instruction.  TIME Edge also features Common Core-aligned assessments that highlight where students may need more support.  Teachers will also get access to the TIME Vault with over 90 years of TIME content.
Learn more about TIME Edge by visiting their website!

The Smithsonian’s Civil War Mystery App

5 Apr

Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 8.50.14 AMscreen480x480The Smithsonian has released a new app this year to help students learn about the Civil War.  This iPad app is perfect for middle and high school students exploring this time period and using primary source documents in their studies.  Ripped Apart: A Civil War Mystery takes users through the artifacts stored at the Smithsonian and presents information on themes associated with this time period.  It’s a great way to introduce students to the Civil War or build upon the knowledge they already have.  Whether this app is used to supplement traditional resources in your school or recommended as an at home extension for families with iPads, Ripped Apart: A Civil War Mystery can boost student engagement.

Visit the Apple App Store to learn more about this powerful iPad app!

Teaching with mobile devices this year? Check out my Syllabuy page for more lesson ideas. 

Geography Duel for Partner Practice

4 Apr

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 11.29.51 PMscreen480x480-1There are a handful of geography apps that I love (StrataLogica, TapQuiz, Experience America HD, 3D Atlas) and Geography Duel is another option for students.  This app lets users quiz their knowledge of US states and countries.  It has a single player and multiplayer mode that lets students compete with a partner.  This is a great app game for students who want to boost their knowledge of geography whether they play with a classmate or independently.

Check out Geography Duel in the Apple App Store for iOS devices!

Visit my Syllabuy page to view lots of tech-friendly lessons

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