So, here goes. I’ll start with one of my favorites!
#1 Remind (formally Remind 101)
This is one of my favorite ways to connect instantly with students and parents. Remind is a safe and FREE service that sends one-way messages via SMS, push notifications or email to anyone you invite with a special code for your class. Remind keeps phone numbers private while still staying in touch with students and parents. You can even set up numerous classes, or send a message to just one or a few students or parents on your list.
Simple step-by-step instructions are provided through a downloadable letter for parents. Try it today! You won’t be disappointed!
Symbaloo is a FREE visual bookmarking tool that makes it simple and fun to organize the best of the web. With an account you can access your bookmarks from any device and share your online resources with others. How can you use this in the classroom you might ask? Until recently I didn’t really see a how this would be a “classroom tool”, but you can create a webmix of links in an overview, share it at one time, and your students will get automatic updates when you make changes. Symbaloo will generate a link for you to share with others that will take them straight to your webmix.
Teachers are also using Symbaloo to create lesson plans by creating a webmix for each subject they teach. You can embed a webmix in your class website or blog. Check out their website for more ideas. The possibilities are endless! How do you Symbaloo?
#3 Story Jumper
I absolutely love this! With this web tool students can create illustrated books with super easy tools and then publish their own hardback or paperback books. This website is very user friendly for students while bringing their imagination to life! The wide range of graphics are incredibly detailed and fun to explore. When turning the pages, it has a nice little papery “whoosh” sound just like turning the pages of a real book. Step-by-step instructions are available for teachers, and the Classroom Edition for teachers includes a separate dashboard with a lot of helpful resources.
Once published, parents have the option of purchasing their child’s book, or it can be safely shared on Story Jumper, with friends and family through social media networks, or embed on a website. It’s amazing what you can do with this site and the best part is that your students can become published authors!
Kidblog is a safe and simple blog for your students. It provides teachers with tools to help students publish writing safely online. Teachers can effectively monitor all activity within a secure classroom blogging space. I love how Kidblog gives students’ writing a meaningful purpose as they are motivated to write for their peers and engage with a global network.
This is a great way to engage students in the process of pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, publishing, and (of course) commenting. Kidblog has a basic FREE edition, and a paid premium edition that comes with more features. I can’t wait to try this with my class! I have a feeling they will love it!
Timetoast is a FREE website where students and teachers can create engaging timelines complete with expanding windows, pictures, text, descriptions, and hyperlinks. It’s so easy to create an account and use! It’s a wonderful tool that allows students to create timelines of a story, research project, historical events, and much more. Students can add details, photos, and links to their timelines.
They can share their timeline on Timetoast and explore timelines made by others. Teachers can use Timetoast to create timelines for lesson plans and/or embed their timelines on their website. This is an amazing educational tool that can be used for any subject or topic related to time, history, or important events. Did I mention it’s completely interactive?!?
#6 Google Drive (formally Google Docs)
This is a FREE web based service that allows students and teachers to create documents, presentations, spreadsheets, or upload previously created material. Students will need a gmail account which is easy to set up. What I love about Google Drive is that everything is stored electronically in
the Google cloud. Documents stored there can be accessed from almost any device with an internet connection. You can easily get sharable links and more than one person can be logged in and editing a document at any given time. As a teacher, you can have your students share their work or projects with you, and you can provide instant feedback usually from the comfort of your own home! Now, how much better can it get? Right? Check out 12 Roles for Google Drive in the Classroom to get started!
#7 Class Dojo
This wonderful and FREE classroom management tool is quickly becoming one of the most popular web tools for teachers! I don’t personally use it for myself, because I found it hard to manage in my classroom. However, there’s so many teachers that use it and love it! I definitely need to revisit this positive behavior management system. With Class Dojo each student has a profile that you set up – complete with their own avatar – to which teachers can assign positive and negative points (or dojo’s) throughout the day.
There’s an app that you can download to your phone which makes this tool manageable inside and outside of the classroom. All points and information is recorded on students’ profiles that can be reviewed throughout the year. Parents even have their own login so they can view their child’s performance and achievements from home. Class Dojo seems to have an astounding effect on students! Your class homescreen can be displayed on the board, and It serves as a constant visual reminder as you communicate with students without even having to say a word! Students quickly begin to recognize the sounds that are played when dojos are rewarded, and it’s encouraging to see an increase in effort as they try to earn points for themselves. There’s so much hype about Class Dojo, and given the fact that over 35 million teachers use – it must be worth looking into!
Graphite is my new best friend! Well…not really, but I do love it! Graphite makes it easy for teachers to find the best digital learning tools by giving them independent ratings and reviews based on a rigorous rubric. The site also gives teachers insights on how to best use these tools in their classroom. Who has time to waste on searching the web for a great app or website to introduce to your students or use in a lesson? Graphite takes all the leg work out of finding the best games, apps, and websites for your classroom. As a teacher, you can explore by topic or Common Core standard. Yes, Graphite is aligned with the Common Core Standards, and what’s even better than that? It’s FREE!
With more than 5 million stories in its database, Storybird is one of the world’s largest storytelling communities! Students can make visual stories in seconds with some of the best artwork from illustrators and animators from around the world! There are no ads on the site, and it has a user friendly format that makes it perfect for the classroom. Teachers are able to create student accounts, give students assignments, and easily view any stories their students have written. Students can collaborate with other students as they write stories together, and then share their stories with friends and family.
Once written, student’s stories can be purchased for $1.99 (USD). This allows students to download a PDF file of their story which can easily be opened on the iBook app, on a Nook Color, or any Android device. Stories can also be embed into a blog or website which allows students to have an authentic audience to write for. I definitely want to try this out in my classroom this year!
#10 Go Noodle
Does your class need a few brain breaks throughout the day? Of course they do! Maybe even more than one! If you haven’t used Go Noodle yet, then you have to try it out. I use Go Noodle almost every day in my classroom, and my students love it! So, what is Go Noodle? It’s a FREE collection of interactive brain breaks that gets kids up and moving while channeling all of that classroom energy. Go Noodle uses research-based brain break activities that are healthy, engaging, and beneficial. You can literally complete a brain break in less than 5 minutes. Students can set goals as a class and be rewarded by their Champ, a virtual mascot, who grows as the class earned minutes needed to advance to the next level.
Teachers can set up multiple groups so that each class can view their own progress and rewards. All you need is a computer, internet access, and a screen (projector/interactive whiteboard). I use Go Noodle for rainy day recess, and it works great! It has a variety of exercise programs that I can choose from for my students. Our favorites are Zumba Kids and Koo-Koo Kangaroo. Now, they don’t mind if it’s raining outside, because they know they’ll get to get their wiggles out using Go Noodle!
I hope you enjoyed my Top 10 Web Tools to Use in the Classroom! I could have added soooo many more! I’d love to know which web tools you use in your classroom. I’m sure you could add to my list. Leave me a comment and let me if there’s some you think I should try!