Favorites & Resources

Great classroom resources and technology are hard to come by when you’re the one who has to do all the looking, testing and classroom research.  We’re here to help.   Here are our some of our favorites.  It’s tech we like.  Tech that’s aesthetic and intuitive.  It’s tech that fills a classroom void.  Weekends will partial focus on tech that has classroom potential.  Check back with us then if you’re looking for something new or innovative.  

1.  Schoology /Edmodo

A great free app to use with your students.  They also have an iPhone app and iPad app.   It looks so similar to Facebook in terms of its layout and feature. Intuitive and easy to use with great features.  You can create discussion threads on everything from images, to PDFs, to topics of your own choosing. Great demo video on their home page.

Potential Uses:

  • Online discussions
  • Students posting writing (thesis statements, examples, etc) to receive feedback
  • Creating an online community for interaction amongst students
  • Distributing information and content to students
  • Student’s posts becoming artifacts for a digital writing portfolio

2.  Prezi 

Great presentation software tool that allows you to use an “open canvas” format.  They give you a great zooming tool, the ability to collaborate online, the ability to embedded YouTube clips and images, the possibilities are endless.
Great way to introduce a unit of study or a great choice for student presentations.


  • Requires students to create an argument
  • By asking students to organize, order, and cluster frames of text, students are reconsidering the relationships that exist inherently
  • YouTube clips load and buffer directly in the presentation instead of taking time to link to an outside page and then buffer.

Prezi Overview & Tip Sheet


3.  tumblr.

This might just be one of the new applications that has the most potential.  The aesthetics of the platform are fantastic and incredibly easy to navigate.  Also, tumblr is a site that many students already use for personal blog creation.  The possibilities are endless and the resources are enormous.  The National Archives (our favorite being Today’s Document) has multiple tumblrs. What’s your excuse?

Potential Uses:

  • Student-Created:  students create a tumblr page that synthesizes a topic or text by providing links, texts, and information that supports a particular argument.  This is very similar to a document-based question that is required in both AP English and History classes.
  • Teacher-Created:  to provide information that extends the classroom.  For example, I have created one that disseminates information about the American literary time periods for my students. Another way is to end a novel study by providing sources to help students think more critically about the text.  Here is one example for Death of a Salesman.
  • We have also included a URL to our prezi presentation from the AP Annual, which includes student samples and professional models of tumblr pages that students can analyze.  You do not need a prezi account to view the presentation.
Favorite Themes:
    • We really like the following appearances for tumblr pages that try to synthesize a text or topic onto one page because they organize the material in a fashion that is more conducive for sharing with other people.  Chunky and the Minimalist are two of our favorites.

Favorite Tumblr Pages:

  1. Time Magazine:  http://timemagazine.tumblr.com
  2. Boston Globe Photo:  http://globephototumblr.com
  3. Newsweek:  http://newsweek.tumblr.com
  4. NPR:  http://npr.tumblr.com

Tumblr Overview and Sign up

Directions for Tumblr

Directions for Tumblr’s Advanced Users




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  6. lauren says:

    I’ve had a lot of trouble trying to figure out how to use edmodo to elicit student feedback on writing, do you have any helpful tips?

    • Aubrey & Emily says:

      There are several things I have done in the past. One thing is to have the students provide their thesis statement as their post and require students to respond to 3 for homework. Sometimes, instead of just commenting “this is a great idea,” I have the students reply with a question to think about the implications or effects. This is nice because it helps students to think about what questions are important and it helps the writer of the thesis. Another thing that I have really liked is to have the students post 250-300 word analytical responses about a specific topic, such as man’s ability to create his identity. Then, to prepare for our class discussion, students are required to go online and read and respond to 3 posts. Then, they lead the socratic seminar the next day about points they saw being explored online. Hope this helps!

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