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Two-Way Classroom Street

ClassflowThe essence of ClassFlow is that teachers can not only nose around and pick the classroom activities, lesson plans and assessments that suit them, but they can also contribute to this online warehouse of curriculum. The marketplace is new but there’s already a slew of lessons, quizzes, presentations and ActivInspire flipcharts. Everything is rated by grade and carries a star rating. It’s free to join, but you’ll need to pay for those items you purchase


Freebee Friday: Back to School Images

Back-to-school-graphic_23-2147487097Making kids feel welcome after a long summer break isn’t easy and a slew of back-to-school posters can help. Freepik has a good selection of thousands of samples of school art, including back to school posters for classes, hallways and libraries. They’re free if you credit the artist but you can fully license the collection for $10 a month.



The Myth of Running on Everything

MythwareGetting a classroom management package that runs on every platform used at school can seem like something dreamed up by Sisyphus, but Mythware (formerly Nanjing Universal Networks) can work just as well on Windows and iPads as Macs, Androids and Linux systems. That said, the Windows software is the most extensive with the ability to not only monitor and control individual student systems, but broadcast audio and video or create quiz question. Administrators can also set USB thumb drive policies as well as remotely start any system or close any app that’s running. You can try it out for a month with the ability to connect with up to 5 student systems.



Freebee Friday: The Truth About Cyberbullying

Caller smartNeed some answers about cyberbullying and how to prevent it at your school? CallerSmart has a nice site that is chock full of facts, definitions, interpretations of current laws and current surveys to help get a handle on cyberbullying. The best part is an extensive section about how to stop cyberbullies in their digital tracks, which can be the start of a district- or school-wide program to put an end to it.

Flip the School

FlipgirdFlipgrid makes a classroom discussion as easy as ask a question (or five) and wait for the videoed responses to flow in. The software works on iOS and Android systems and lets the teacher (or a student) start the discussion with a provocative typed question or just a video. The key is that rather than a one-to-one relationship, everyone in the group can see everyone’s video and comment on them, opening a face-to-face-to-face discussion. It costs $65 per teacher and nothing for students.



Time’s Up

Time timerEvery classroom has to squeeze a lot of activities into the school day before the final bell rings and the best way to do it is to set a timer for each. Time Timers has a variety of physical and software timers that all have a red disk that gets smaller as – well – time marches on. There are wristwatches and handheld timers that range from $30 to $80 as well as apps for iOS, Android and PCs





iPad Goes to School

TabPilot-Screen-LayoutsApple added a slew of new educationally-oriented features to the iPad’s iOS operating system with version 9.3, but it may take some time to figure them out and work them into a school’s routine. Not the case with TabPilot, which can work with things like Apple’s School Manager. The top new items range from customizing screen layouts and locking lost or stolen pads to blacklisting undesirable apps and sharing the devices among students and teachers. It’s Mobile Device Management scheme lets you use Apple’s Classroom App to manage and document the class.

560 Degree Circle

560degree_fail560 Degree Solutions’ School Management System can cover a school with 360-degrees of technology with everything from automating admission and registration of new students to payroll and human resources. In addition to tracking student progress, 560 Degree can integrate transportation and create a variety of reports for state officials and parents.


The Student Numbers Game

FedenaForadian’s Fedena changes the School Management Software dynamic by not charging based on the number of students. Created in India, the app has modules for everything from courses, scheduling and attendance to grades and admissions with a common Web-based interface. There’s a customizable dashboard, the software can create a variety of reports and you can integrate Moodle and Google Docs into the framework. The Pro version costs $600 a year and includes 33 module and Web-based training, while the $1,000 Pro Plus version adds 13 extra modules and comes with personal training.

Creating the Digital Portfolio

GradebookA report card can never include the subtleties that modern education seeks to provide, from collaboration to creativity, but FreshGrade can consolidate it all for free. Available only for iPads (sorry Android users), there are apps for Students (to compile assignments), Teachers (to provide feedback) and parents (to view progress). The program can capture everything from plain old written material to videos, sound clips and images. There’s also a blog for sharing ideas and a new gradebook that lets teachers use a variety of assessment methods.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Tech Tools are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.