TeachersFirst Edge

New web 2.0 tools appear each day. Many of these tools were not originally intended for classroom use, but they can be powerful learning tools for today's techno-savvy students and their more adventurous teachers. These sites appear (and frequently disappear) very quickly, launched by creative techno-geeks out there in the world.

Many of these tools require a higher-than-average set of teacher tech skills or some extra monitoring to assure student "safety." TeachersFirst Edge reviews these "tools on the Edge" carefully, and with specific ideas for using them safely and effectively in teaching and learning. Reviews point out any safety or policy concerns for the tool and offer links to management tips for each concern.

Especially popular is this subset of the Edge: BYOD Dream Tools: Free tools that work on any device. Look for the device agnostic tool tag in any review.

This is the world your students already know. Try teaching in their vernacular. A little adventurousness makes for powerful learning.

See General Tips for using Edge Tools - a must for first-time users

Browse the full listing of detailed safety/school policy tips or save time by reading them as needed from each tool review.

If you try one of these tools and find it especially useful, be sure to leave a comment on it to share your students' successes with other teachers. If you know of another tool that teachers would find beneficial, please suggest it via our webmaster account, as a "suggested resource."

Here's the Edge:

 

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Wick Editor - Wicklets, LLC

Grades
4 to 12
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Create games and animations with Wick Editor's open-source tools, available as beta downloads or browser editors. Visit the example page for tutorials, examples, and program references....more
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Create games and animations with Wick Editor's open-source tools, available as beta downloads or browser editors. Visit the example page for tutorials, examples, and program references. Use filters on this page to find examples by difficulty level or type of animation project. The tutorial videos reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.

tag(s): animation (63), gamification (77), STEM (267)

In the Classroom

Wick Editor offers beginners and advanced participants opportunities to create animations and games. Share this site with some of your more "techy" students and allow them to explore and develop, then ask them to become experts and share their ideas with new participants. Use the examples to find ideas for incorporating animation into many different lessons. For example, ask students to create animated timelines, animate the growth of a plant from a seed, or use the popup activity to share interesting facts about famous people in history.
 

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Khanmigo - Khan Academy

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K to 12
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Khanmigo offers a suite of free AI-powered tools specially designed for educators. Choose a resource from several categories for differentiation, planning, creating, learning, or support....more
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Khanmigo offers a suite of free AI-powered tools specially designed for educators. Choose a resource from several categories for differentiation, planning, creating, learning, or support. Select any tool and add the requested information, such as topic, grade level, and learning objectives, into the message box. Adjust the response by highlighting any output portion and asking for changes. When finished, use the included options to print the information, export it to Microsoft Word, create a PDF, or save it to your Google Drive. The results are also available on your Khanmigo account in a "My Documents" folder. Always double-check information generated by AI for accuracy before using it.

tag(s): artificial intelligence (117), assessment (148), differentiation (86), Formative Assessment (69), rubrics (35), Special Needs (55), Teacher Utilities (151)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these AI-powered resources to save time and increase productivity. For example, use the Exit Ticket creator to design end-of-lesson assessments to determine student understanding or the Make it Relevant! generator to design lessons that engage learners based on their interests. Differentiate learning by adjusting text levels to match students' abilities or increase comprehension by chunking text into manageable sections.

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Gravity - Gravity

Grades
7 to 12
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Gravity offers a video response tool to promote asynchronous classroom discussions. Use Gravity to record video or audio prompts or create screen recordings to share. Register for an...more
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Gravity offers a video response tool to promote asynchronous classroom discussions. Use Gravity to record video or audio prompts or create screen recordings to share. Register for an account using your email, then make a community to use as a home for video prompts. Prompts are then created in community folders and shared using a join code. Students join the discussion using the join code and create an account using their email. Free accounts for educators offer unlimited participants and one minute of video recording time.

tag(s): collaboration (91), video (257)

In the Classroom

Use Gravity to create collaborative discussions on virtually any classroom topic. Challenge students to reflect on their learning at the end of a unit, research project, or literature circle. Here are just a few example questions to ask: What are some things you did well on this assignment? What mistakes did you make on your last assignment that you did not make on today's assignment? What would you do differently? What would you like to learn more about? Create a community folder for student questions; for example, ask students to create a screen-share video to demonstrate questions they have when solving math problems. Since the free version allows for only a one-minute prompt time and a one-minute reply per student, this is a good tool to teach students to be concise when responding, sharing only the important points.

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Napkin AI - Napkin AI

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K to 12
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Napkin AI uses artificial intelligence to generate visuals based on your text or generate text with AI. Copy and paste any text into the chat box, then click to create ...more
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Napkin AI uses artificial intelligence to generate visuals based on your text or generate text with AI. Copy and paste any text into the chat box, then click to create timelines, infographics, flow charts, and more. Choose from the provided images, then edit if desired by changing color, font, and other options. Save your finished visual as a URL link, PDF, PNG image file, or SVG. Share using the URL link to allow others to view or edit your project.

tag(s): artificial intelligence (117), data (148), infographics (58), problem solving (226), timelines (52), visualizations (12)

In the Classroom

Add this handy resource to your teacher toolbox for many classroom uses for you and your students. Paste instructions for lab activities into Napkin AI and add a timeline to accompany step-by-step instructions, create visuals to accompany problem-solving tasks, or add infographics to social studies reports. Share the link to the project built with Napkin AI or save the images to include with slide presentations or other multimedia presentations.

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TeachingLab.ai - Teaching Lab Coherence Innovation Studio

Grades
K to 12
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TeachingLab.ai offers a selection of AI resources for creating assessments, generating text, and planning lessons. Most tools require registration using your email; registering accounts...more
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TeachingLab.ai offers a selection of AI resources for creating assessments, generating text, and planning lessons. Most tools require registration using your email; registering accounts allows members to access their previous history and make new AI tools. After registering, select a tool and provide the required information in the chat box, then click generate to produce the response. In addition to accessing your history on the site, additional options allow you to copy and paste output into a document or export the product into a Google Doc. When using AI tools, always verify the output for accuracy.

tag(s): artificial intelligence (117), assessment (148), differentiation (86), Teacher Utilities (151)

In the Classroom

Use TeachingLab.ai to increase productivity and creativity with classroom content. Use the provided tools to generate lesson plans, modify activities to differentiate learning, and create quick formative assessments. Be sure to include prompts as specific as possible to receive the best results, then use the chat bar to provide additional input to for the desired results. Use TeachingLab.ai to generate ideas for introducing new vocabulary to students or as a tool to support multilingual learners in your classroom. After generating vocabulary lists and content ideas, use the information to create interactive games and activities using Wordwall, reviewed here.

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Assemblr EDU - Assemblr

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K to 12
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Assemblr EDU provides tools for educators and students to learn with interactive 3D/augmented reality models and lessons. Free plans include access to 400 3D objects and limited access...more
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Assemblr EDU provides tools for educators and students to learn with interactive 3D/augmented reality models and lessons. Free plans include access to 400 3D objects and limited access to topics and EDU Kits. EDU Kits include bundles and individual objects such as science models, inventions, and more. Choose the editor to create a model using images from the site's library or uploading an image from your device. Learn more about Assemblr EDU tools and abilities by watching tutorial videos found on their YouTube Channel, found here.

tag(s): augmented reality (7), DAT device agnostic tool (143)

In the Classroom

Share 3D models found on Assemblr EDU with students to visualize complex concepts like anatomy, physics, or geography. Share Assemblr EDU with tech-savvy students and ask them to use the editor to create 3D objects to share with the classroom or to create tutorials on how to use the editor to create models. Use Free Screen Recorder Online, reviewed here to record and share tutorials.

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TriviaMaker - Redwood Pro Media, LLC

Grades
K to 12
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Turn lessons into a game show with TriviaMaker. Create an account to create trivia games or select games from the included library. Visit the Teacher's Channel to search and explore...more
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Turn lessons into a game show with TriviaMaker. Create an account to create trivia games or select games from the included library. Visit the Teacher's Channel to search and explore available games by subject, grade level, and type of game. Game options include grids (similar to Jeopardy), lists (similar to Family Feud), and Trivia. Choose from several play options including student devices, basic screen presentation, and solo trivia. The basic free plan allows members to participate with two teams and crowd options of up to twenty players.

tag(s): assessment (148), Formative Assessment (69), gamification (77), quiz (66), trivia (20)

In the Classroom

Create and play trivia games in a variety of ways. Introduce a new unit by playing a game as a schema activator and as an informal assessment tool to assess students' prior knowledge. Use the single-player activity as a tool for personalized learning. Begin using games from TriviaMaker's Teacher's Channel, then create games to fit the individual needs of your students. If devices are unavailable, use the print option to print the quiz questions, then use this option for students to play individually or compete in teams. Enhance learning by asking students to select a question they got wrong or one they would like to research further, then share additional facts and information by creating a short animated video using Animate from Audio, reviewed here.

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Vnote - Nick Koshnick

Grades
6 to 12
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Vnote uses AI to create documents using your ideas. To begin, create an account and record a description of the document you want to develop and the details you want ...more
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Vnote uses AI to create documents using your ideas. To begin, create an account and record a description of the document you want to develop and the details you want to include. Vnote will provide prompts for additional information if needed. After creating the document, use additional AI features to edit and improve the output, such as identifying the main idea, describing changes, or changing the document type. When finished, share the document with the included shareable link. Free accounts allow you to create up to five documents monthly.

tag(s): artificial intelligence (117), collaboration (91), communication (133), note taking (35), writing (318)

In the Classroom

Use Vnote to create documents quickly for many classroom purposes. For example, develop outlines to share with students as study guides for upcoming lessons. This tool is beneficial when working with multilingual learners and students who need additional classroom support. Ask Vnote to create an outline with basic parts of speech and examples for multilingual students to keep handy in a notebook or create a document for the entire class with important information about your Civil War unit, then use the AI editing features to convert the document to a different language to make it accessible to all students. Create a Vnote document at the end of a lesson that includes highlights of information taught, then post the document on your class learning management system for students to access and review. Share Vnote with students to create study guides highlighting essential details and information to prepare for upcoming assessments. Ask students to collaborate by sharing information exported to Google Docs to add additional information and context as they prepare for tests.

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Humy - Humy.ai

Grades
4 to 12
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Chat with over 1,000 historical figures, from Tutankhamun to Michael Jackson, with Humy's chatbots, or Humies. Create an account, then visit the Humies to search for specific characters...more
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Chat with over 1,000 historical figures, from Tutankhamun to Michael Jackson, with Humy's chatbots, or Humies. Create an account, then visit the Humies to search for specific characters or scroll through options that include diverse groups such as Greek Gods and Space Exploration. Select a character to begin your conversation and ask questions. Additional tools found on Humy include lesson planning and question generation tools. Visit the collections to find options to edit and share curated collections. The free subscription consists of 300 credits (approximately 25-30 chat conversations) and access to over 40 history collections; however, activating a collection uses many more credits than individual chat conversations.

tag(s): american revolution (83), art history (87), artificial intelligence (117), authors (105), black history (127), chat (41), civil rights (197), civil war (135), DAT device agnostic tool (143), environment (238), great depression (29), greeks (32), presidents (122), religions (77), renaissance (33), space (215), Teacher Utilities (151), women (137), world war 1 (73), world war 2 (151)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free account provided by Humy to generate conversations on your interactive whiteboard with historical figures to introduce new lessons and units and engage students in upcoming activities. For example, before reading The Giver by Lois Lowry, select her name from the Humies to have a conversation to learn about her inspiration for writing the book and allow students to ask questions about her writing style and how she developed her storytelling skills. Use the chat conversations as a starting point for research projects on historical figures or periods. Ask students to share their projects by creating websites with Google Sites, reviewed here or by using Google My Maps, reviewed here to create an interactive story based on locations on the map.

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iGradePlus Online Gradebook - iGradePlus

Grades
K to 12
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iGradePlus Online Gradebook offers an easy-to-use, FERPA-compliant interface with many options for busy educators. Create a grade book, add classes and students, and then assign students...more
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iGradePlus Online Gradebook offers an easy-to-use, FERPA-compliant interface with many options for busy educators. Create a grade book, add classes and students, and then assign students to the appropriate courses. iGradePlus includes several options to modify or set custom grading scales, such as grade weights for exams, quizzes, or other assignments. Free accounts include adding grades, tracking behavior and attendance, parent/teacher communication tools, custom report generation, and more.

tag(s): classroom management (126), Teacher Utilities (151)

In the Classroom

If your school doesn't provide a required gradebook, consider using iGradePlus. This resource is also helpful for sharing feedback for after-school programs or with tutors to share information on student progress. Modify class information as needed to adjust grade weights to fulfill requirements for special needs and gifted students.

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Teacher's Buddy - Teacher's Buddy

Grades
K to 12
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Teacher's Buddy offers AI tools just for teachers. The free plan includes ten tools that create lesson plans, generate stories and poems, and adapt coursework for neurodiverse students....more
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Teacher's Buddy offers AI tools just for teachers. The free plan includes ten tools that create lesson plans, generate stories and poems, and adapt coursework for neurodiverse students. After creating an account, begin using Teacher's Buddy by creating a new workspace for your activities. Select an age group and choose from the available tools. Follow the directions to provide the topic and context, and connect to your Google Drive to upload documents if desired. When finished, edit the content as you wish, then save the document to your Google Drive or share using the provided link. Learn more about the different features of Teacher's Buddy by watching the tutorial videos shared on the site. Always verify the accuracy of content generated by AI before using it.

tag(s): adhd (29), artificial intelligence (117), autism (15), Special Needs (55), Teacher Utilities (151)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free resources Teacher's Buddy shares to save time and increase productivity. Generate lesson plans based on your curriculum, teaching standards, and documents you use in your classroom, then edit the contents to adapt to your teaching style and students' learning preferences. Use the neurodiversity adaptation tool to generate ideas for adaptations for students on IEPs, with ADHD, or with autism.

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Gibbly - Gibbly

Grades
K to 12
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Generate quizzes, lessons, and gamified assignments using Gibbly and the power of AI. After creating an account, visit Gibbly's library to browse and search for lessons and quizzes....more
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Generate quizzes, lessons, and gamified assignments using Gibbly and the power of AI. After creating an account, visit Gibbly's library to browse and search for lessons and quizzes. Open any item to view and edit questions, print a PDF, or share the link by social media or email. Assign activities for solo play or host a live, synchronous activity. Create quizzes and lessons using the create button; options include manual and AI quiz generators and AI-generated lessons. Build lessons by adding the topic and grade level for the lesson; Gibbly then generates a lesson plan and several options for slides, including background information, discussion questions, and Did You Know information. Free accounts include 20,000 tokens monthly, unlimited hosting of review games, the creation of unlimited quizzes and lessons, and Google exports.

tag(s): artificial intelligence (117), gamification (77), preK (259), quizzes (89), Teacher Utilities (151)

In the Classroom

Use Gibbly to generate lessons and formative assessments that engage students in learning. Assign solo quizzes for students to review classroom information and easily differentiate learning by adjusting the reading level and content of the questions. Host a live quiz before starting a new unit to guide lesson planning based on students' prior knowledge. Use the lesson generator to build lessons, then share the link with students to review after your presentation.

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AI Photo Generator - Perchance

Grades
6 to 12
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AI Photo Generator allows you to generate realistic photos using AI, without signing up or facing any usage limits. It's a free tool designed to create images based on your-input ...more
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AI Photo Generator allows you to generate realistic photos using AI, without signing up or facing any usage limits. It's a free tool designed to create images based on your-input descriptions. The platform is user-friendly and accessible directly through the browser, making it convenient for anyone looking to create custom images quickly.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): artificial intelligence (117), clip art (11), images (257)

In the Classroom

Have students write a character description and use the AI Photo Generator to visualize it. They share these images along with stories using Google Docs. Have students research historical figures, then create a modern version of them using the generator. Present these images alongside historical facts in a PowerPoint presentation, linking past to present. Using the different styles, have students use the same prompt and see how the image changes depending on the chosen style.

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Scribble Diffusion - Replicate

Grades
K to 12
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Scribble Diffusion uses artificial intelligence (AI) to turn your scribbles into refined drawings. Use the drawing tool to draw any object, then describe your image in the prompt box...more
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Scribble Diffusion uses artificial intelligence (AI) to turn your scribbles into refined drawings. Use the drawing tool to draw any object, then describe your image in the prompt box and click "go." In just a few moments, your idea comes to life in an AI-generated image. Refine your prompt as often as you like until you receive an image to use. Copy the link or right-click to download and save the image to your device when ready.

tag(s): artificial intelligence (117), drawing (60), images (257)

In the Classroom

Anytime students use images, discuss the proper use of copyright. Currently, copyright laws do not apply to AI-generated images; include this in your discussion and consider why this might be true. Create images to use as starters for creative writing projects, to include in multimedia projects, or for students to use as avatars for blogs. Use images created with Scribble Diffusion in digital storytelling projects, such as those created with Canva Edu, reviewed here or with Canva Comic Strip Templates, reviewed here. In art class, use one doodle to create images in different art styles and ask students to compare the different features of each style. Ask students to choose one art style to use in creating drawings by choosing from different options of media and supplies.

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CapCut - CapCut

Grades
6 to 12
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CapCut is an all-in-one video editing platform that provides tools for creating, editing, and sharing videos. The website offers various features such as editing tools, AI-driven options...more
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CapCut is an all-in-one video editing platform that provides tools for creating, editing, and sharing videos. The website offers various features such as editing tools, AI-driven options like background removal and color correction, and templates for different social media platforms. You can access CapCut online, download it for desktop use, or use the mobile app to edit videos. The platform also supports team collaboration and provides resources for enhancing video content with music, texts, and effects.

tag(s): digital storytelling (147), social media (54), video (257)

In the Classroom

Have students create short biography videos of historical figures, integrating photos, text, and voiceovers using CapCut. They can document their science experiments through video, using CapCut to add captions explaining each step. This method engages students and enhances comprehension of scientific concepts. Have students craft Public Service Announcements (PSAs) about topics like bullying, the environment, or other social issues using CapCut to edit and share their message. These can be shared on the school's social media accounts. Teachers can use CapCut to create teaser videos that can be used to peak students' interest for an upcoming unit of study.

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AI or Not - AI Literacy Generator - Curipod

Grades
4 to 12
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Can you and your students identify AI-generated images vs. human-made images? This activity shared by Curipod, reviewed here lets you select from...more
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Can you and your students identify AI-generated images vs. human-made images? This activity shared by Curipod, reviewed here lets you select from image options to generate a lesson with a series of slides with polls for students to choose the correct image format. Additional slides include the prompts for creating the AI images and a short lesson on verifying AI-created images. Customize the presentation as desired before sharing it with students, or share it with the link or by selecting "Present" on your device to display it in real-time.

tag(s): artificial intelligence (117), digital citizenship (92), images (257), Teacher Utilities (151)

In the Classroom

Use this presentation to introduce lessons on creating AI-generated images or lessons on digital citizenship to help students understand how to verify "real" vs. AI-created information. Use the prompts provided in the lesson to create images in other image creation tools like Ideogram, reviewed here and Image Creator by Designer, reviewed here, then ask students to compare and contrast the images created with each tool. Use the shared prompts as a template for students as they learn how to design effective prompts to create AI images for use with creative writing projects, slide presentations, and other classroom projects.

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Snorkl - Snorkl

Grades
K to 12
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Snorkl uses AI to generate personalized feedback on students' verbal explanations of assignments. After viewing a question, students create a recording with options for drawing on a...more
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Snorkl uses AI to generate personalized feedback on students' verbal explanations of assignments. After viewing a question, students create a recording with options for drawing on a virtual whiteboard to enhance their responses. After submitting a response, students receive feedback that identifies positive information in their responses and areas for improvement. Use questions from Snorkl's library or create questions to add to your library and assign to students. When assigning activities to your class, options are available to allow students to view their classmates' responses and comments if desired. Students access the assignments by visiting the link provided after creating the assignment or using the join code. As students post responses, teachers receive insights based on the shared answers that describe students' understandings and misunderstandings of the topic.

tag(s): artificial intelligence (117), feedback (9), Teacher Utilities (151), Whiteboard (13)

In the Classroom

Use Snorkl to enhance student learning by providing prompts that encourage students to develop thinking and reasoning skills while sharing their understanding of the topic. Encourage students to use the included whiteboard to provide written responses and drawings in addition to the recorded audio explanations. Differentiate learning for students by creating questions based on students' understanding of the topic. Encourage students to take advantage of the AI feedback provided to rerecord responses that provide additional information that shows a deeper knowledge of the topic.

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Headliner - Headliner

Grades
K to 12
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Headliner converts audio podcasts into YouTube videos and automatically transcribes the video's audio into captions. Register for an account to begin using Headliner, then choose from...more
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Headliner converts audio podcasts into YouTube videos and automatically transcribes the video's audio into captions. Register for an account to begin using Headliner, then choose from options that include manual and automatic audiograms, transcribe audio or video, caption a video, or use the advanced editor. Headliner also offers several templates, or you can upload your own. After choosing, follow the steps to select an aspect ratio, upload your video file, select a transcription language, and edit the portion of the video to transcribe. When ready, click to create your project and add additional items such as background audio, additional text or media, and more. To finish your project, choose to export your work and leave the tab open as your video generates. When complete, choose from several options to download your video, share to social media sites, or share using the URL of your project. Free accounts allow up to five projects monthly without watermarks, unlimited watermarked applications, and the ability to export videos in 1080p.

tag(s): multilingual (67), podcasts (91), text to speech (20), video (257)

In the Classroom

If your class is creating podcasts, use Headliner to convert podcasts to videos on YouTube to make them easier for some listeners to access. Adding transcripts provides options for making any of your videos more accessible to listeners of any language. For example, if your school has a large Spanish-speaking community, post videos and podcasts in both languages for everyone to view. This tool also works well when creating videos in other formats such as Animate from Audio, reviewed here. Animate from Audio doesn't automatically include captions, use Headliner to add captions in any language to videos created by you and your students when using this tool.

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FigJam - Figma

Grades
K to 12
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FigJam is an online collaborative whiteboard with many built-in versatile tools for classroom use. The whiteboard offers infinite space to add templates, drawings, and areas for conversations...more
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FigJam is an online collaborative whiteboard with many built-in versatile tools for classroom use. The whiteboard offers infinite space to add templates, drawings, and areas for conversations and projects. In addition, interactive elements allow members to react to ideas with emojis, high-fives, and stamps. Create an account to begin using FigJam and access all of its features. Create your FigJam board by selecting the purple "+FigJam Board" link near the top of the home page. Add features to your whiteboard by choosing from the many options available, including drawing and writing tools, a timer, and an AI generator to create items such as timelines and mindmaps. Share your FigJam board with others by copying the link, sending an email, or copying the embed code onto a webpage.

tag(s): artificial intelligence (117), charts and graphs (169), collaboration (91), graphic organizers (50), iwb (33), mind map (28), timelines (52), Whiteboard (13)

In the Classroom

Use FigJam in many different ways to engage learners and support classroom instruction. Google Jamboard, reviewed here is a similar but less robust tool than FigJam and will not be supported after December 31, 2024. Import your current Jamboards into FigJam using the "Import" button so you don't lose access to those files after Jamboard shuts down. When working in FigJam, use sticky notes as a collaborative activity to brainstorm ideas and information as a class. Use the drawing tools and ask students to label places, parts of plants, and more. Use FigJam templates to create all-about-me activities, such as class check-in and exit ticket activities, Frayer Model activities, and much more. Learn more about FigJam's many features and how to get started by viewing this tutorial from FigJam.

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Animate from Audio - Adobe Express

Grades
K to 12
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Make an animated character with your voice and the easy-to-use tools provided by Adobe Express. Choose a character from those provided; options include robots, superheroes, cartoon...more
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Make an animated character with your voice and the easy-to-use tools provided by Adobe Express. Choose a character from those provided; options include robots, superheroes, cartoon characters, and more. Next, click the background link to select a background image from those available on the site, select a color, or upload an image from your device. The final customization option allows you to size the video by choosing from several options customized for use with social media. After making your selections, click record to create your audio recording of up to two minutes in length. After the animation processes, download the final product as an MP4 file or open it into dobe Creative Cloud Express, reviewed here to add filters, text, and additional animations. Registration isn't required to create and download your animations.

tag(s): animation (63), artificial intelligence (117), images (257)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this engaging site for you and your students to use in many ways. Engage students in upcoming lessons by creating animated previews of forthcoming material. For example, create a short video with hints about geographic features to be studied by including one of them as your background. Ask students to share learning by creating short videos presented as a character chosen from the provided options. Extend learning by asking students to include their animations as part of a larger presentation created using tools found on Adobe Creative Cloud Express for Education, reviewed here, such as videos, pamphlets, and webpages. Use TinyWow, reviewed here to convert your Adobe MP4 video to a GIF, MOV, or MP3 file as needed.
 

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