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We often assume that our digital natives are well prepped and knowledgeable of the latest technology trends, and are going to use these applications to better their productivity. Ha! On the contrary, most of our students use their personal devices for entertainment value only, and aren’t able to make an instructional connection. These students are often more confident and comfortable with technology, yet they don’t spend their spare time reading edTech blogs to discover a new way to collaborate on a project. Clash of Clans, Crossy Roads, and Trivia Crack aren’t going to support their school work.  As teachers, it’s our responsibility to model proper digital citizenship as well as offer ideas for using technology to support and propel learning.

As the end of the school year approaches, teachers are finalizing instruction and preparing students for end-of-year projects, papers, and assessments. Students are asked to work collaboratively and individually to demonstrate what they’ve learned in a variety of ways. This is where we, as digital immigrants, can show the natives a thing or two on using their devices for the betterment of their end-of-year projects, papers, and assessments.

Here are five easy-to-use websites that will support students in the organization, preparation, completion and reflection of their work.

No accounts needed | Simple to use | Click and begin | Pass these along!   

Strike!

Encourage students to manage their to-do lists using Strike! Students visit strikeapp.com to begin creating their list without the need to create an account. Collaborating on a list is made simple by sharing the unique URL. Strike is a fun way to stay organized, and perfect for group projects. Students are able to add their names to the marked off tasks and even share the list URL with their teacher. http://strikeapp.com

 Text 2 Mind Map

Some students need to visualize their notes in a non-linear fashion to achieve a greater understanding, while others need to map out project details to see where to begin. Text 2 Mind Map is a simple way to turn an outline into a mind map. By using tab as notes are typed, Text 2 Mind Map will generate a mind map for you. Students do not need to create an account to begin creating, and maps can be downloaded as a PDF or image. https://www.text2mindmap.com

Meeting Words

This collaborative platform is generated without the need for an account, making it perfect for students without a Google Drive. Multiple students are able to contribute to a document and edit in real-time by simply sharing the unique URL. Contributors have the option to be color coded, and all work can be exported. http://meetingwords.com

Analyze my writing

After completing a writing piece, Analyze my writing provides nice analytics for reviewing  the content of the piece. Simply copy and paste your writing into the text box to instantly view your writing analytics, including your readability score. Word and sentence lengths are averaged, the most common words and word pairs are listed, and a word cloud is automatically created based on the words in the writing. http://www.analyzemywriting.com

Photos for Class

Promote safe, properly attributed image searches by sharing Photos for Class with your students. Simply  search and download creative commons licensed images with the proper citation attached. Quick, safe, and simple. http://photosforclass.com

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