I hope you all had a restful and relaxing break. We are back on the grind for the 2nd Semester. In this edition, I want to share some websites offering free resources for your personal use. While these may not be social studies content only, you will certainly be able to utilize them for your classes. A couple of these have been shared previously, but always worth sharing. Some of these will require the use of students to utilize their technology. Instead of fighting against the machine, let’s figure out how to utilize the machine. So, consider this your Web Tools 2.0 Showdown! (cue some music)
- Block Posters – Ever wanted to create a HUGE poster, or maybe a civil rights timeline, but do not want to pay the exorbitant cost to do so? Well, upload a JPEG file to this site and it will blow up the picture for you. By tiling the printer pages, you can create a poster the size of a wall or window. No scissors needed. Tape, laminate, whatever you want to do…have fun being creative! Imagine taking an image from the history museum or National Archives and creating a massive display on a wall in the hallway or a classroom.
- Rewordify – Rewordify takes complex texts and rewords them in a more user friendly language. Some documents like Federalist #10 and #51 have already been reworded and are available for download. Text can be copied from a source, pasted into their text generator and “reworded” instantly. Teachers can also create vocabulary activities via this website as well. Shared with a group at Gateway STEM High recently.
- Data USA – Need data to back up your research or prove a point? Here it is. Look up poverty statistics, salary info, size of population, job growth, etc.
- EdPuzzle – Take any YouTube video (Crash Course, anyone?) and insert questions into the video. Students can respond to the questions, with their answers sent to you. They cannot skip ahead in the video, unless they answer the question. Imagine linking this to your webpage, or “assigning as homework.”
- FlipGrid — Flipgrid is the leading video discussion platform used by millions of PreK to PhD educators, students, families, and organizations. Create a Grid (that’s your classroom or group), add Topics to spark the discussion, and your community builds a dialogue as they share short video responses. Super simple. Super powerful. I recently shared this with a teacher at Compton-Drew and he participated in my “grid.” If you would like to give it a try, have your laptop ready and camera unblocked. Click hereà https://flipgrid.com/03808c to participate in the grid I created. I would love to hear your answers. Click the large plus sign labelled “Moderated.” You will record a short video with your answer (multiple takes are allowed) and then upload. As moderator, I can review and add the videos. You can even leave feedback for the person who creates a video as well.
While some of you may be intimidated or resistant to some of these tools, please try something new every month we are in school: