3 Picks from AASL’s Best Websites for Teaching & Learning 2014

If you don’t have time to digest the entire list of 2014 Best Websites for Teaching & Learning, this post is a sound byte of information.  Here are three awesome tools to share with teachers and students!

Content Resource


The Why Files:  The Science Behind the News

  • Rich, contemporary collection of odd/interesting science information
  • Nonfiction articles on topics such as:  how birds and jets are alike, mosquitoes, how caffeine affects teenage boys and girls differently
  • Supports science topics (i.e. physical science, life science, etc.) and informational texts in language arts
  • With the focus on nonfiction reading selections on the reading SOLs, this resource fits in perfectly with students interests.
  • Also offers book reviews, interactives, science related images, etc.
  • This site will suck you in; there is something for everyone!


Building Interactive Content


  • Fabulous site for creating instant, customized, digital content.
  • Take a video link from YouTube, Teacher Tube, School Tube, Khan Academy, Shmoop, Vimeo, etc.
  • Label the video with a content title and create customized questions anywhere you want in the clip.
  • Create an enhanced flipped learning resource that students can engage with as they learn.
  • Allows the teacher to assess for understanding and assess the key components of a digital tutorial.
  • Students can click through the video.
  • There are premium features if you choose to pay an additional fee.
  • I was able to create an educanon within seconds; students can access it with a code.  (See a screenshot of the creation phase below).

EduCanon_Screenshot   Educanon_shot


Practical Presentation Tool


  • Simply type or cut and paste a quote into the field.
  • Hit create and presto!  You’ve created a poster or presentation ready graphic.
  • There a number of pre-set, contemporary templates for you choose as the final background.
  • Use it for your classroom design, library signage, or shorter text in student presentations (i.e. data, statistics, poems, etc.)
  • I’ve posted a screenshot of what this tool looks like when you log.  Simply paste the text into the blank field.


Results!  Three versions of the same quote:

cardboard recit   crumpled reciteRecite with bridge



Keeping Up With New Tech Tools

Want to keep up with tools like this one between AASL’s annual best list?

Try following this tech blog:  FreeTech4Teachers  by Richard Byrne

We’ve used it several times in this class but I’ve also Googled random tech questions like how to embed a video in a Hiaku Deck presentation and this blog always seems to pop up with an answer!   Byrne’s steps are always well written and there are several posts with instructional ideas for new tech tools. This is definitely one you’ll want to follow.  I know this will continue to act as regular resource in my life, especially as I take on the role of 7th grade Tech Team Lead.  This will be my school’s 2nd year as a 1-to-1 school and I know there is much to be learned here!



2 responses to “3 Picks from AASL’s Best Websites for Teaching & Learning 2014

  1. I love Quotethis.com, Monica. I think students would love to see their own words in print like that and it can be used for inspiration for them. I am glad you reviewed WhyThis, that sounds like a great site that I will want to checkout. You are right, The FreeTech4Teachers is awesome. I have followed that for quite a while now. It is a very useful tool to keep in your toolbag!

  2. Monica-
    I really liked Recite This too and can’t wait to use it in my lessons. I do want to explore The Why Files now that I have read your write up. This sounds great! I might just be a follower!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s