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By Laura Turner

Web 2.0 tools continue to become more integral to today’s classroom, so here is a list of useful tools for middle and high school Social Studies classrooms. Some of them are also appropriate for older elementary students. These tools and sites take advantage of the higher speed and bandwidth of today’s Web with full-motion video, 3D animations, and interactivity.  
 
 

10X10

http://www.tenbyten.org/10x10.html
Every hour, 10x10 scans the RSS feeds of international news sources, and concludes about the hour's most important words. The top 100 words are chosen, along with 100 corresponding images. At the end of each day, month, and year, 10x10 looks back to conclude the top 100 words for the given time period. A constantly evolving record of our world is formed without any human input.
 
Ahead
http://ahead.com
Presentations don’t have to be static or boring.  Ahead is a web-based tool that allows students and teachers to create non-linear presentations that are as unique as they want them to be. Very similar to Prezi, Ahead allows users to upload high-resolution images, videos, and even files from Adobe products and Microsoft Office directly as part of the interactive presentation.
 
Bitstrips
http://bitstrops.com
This is an easy to use comic building site. Students (and teachers) of all ages can use this webtool to create a comic cell, strip, or story and then share it with their peers or the world. The possibilities are endless with this simple to use website.

Braingle
http://www.braingle.com
With over 20,000 brain teasers, riddles, logic problems, quizzes and mind puzzles submitted and ranked by users like you, Braingle has the largest collection anywhere on the internet. Our large array of unique online multiplayer games will keep you entertained for hours, and if you want to improve your brain, check out the Mentalrobics section. If you crave a brain teaser, mind puzzle, riddle or game, we are the place to get it. Increase your creativity, boost learning and become a better person at Braingle.
 
Conflict History (6-12)
http://www.conflicthistory.com
This site allows users to view Conflicts globally through out time - using and interactive world map and interactive time lines great interactive resource.
 
Docs Teach
http://docsteach.org
Docs Teach is an amazing Web Tool that helps to make History come to Life. Each of the several activity-creation tool helps students develop historical thinking skills and gets them thinking like historians. Teachers simply find and insert primary sources into a customizable and very slick template in order to customize the activity to fit their unique students. This is one of those awesome sites that make teaching easier and more fun while exciting the students and engaging them to learn at the same time.
 
Easy Bib
http://easybib.com
Easy Bib is a powerful and very useful tool that helps students (and teachers) properly cite in MLA and APA formats for formal reports. This site even allows you to enter a book's ISBN number and then automatically fills in the information for you. It can print the information out, export it to a Word Document or PDF, and even email it to you. A great tool that makes the research much easier for Middle School students and their teachers
 
GeoSense (4-12
http://www.geosense.net
An online world geography interactive game that can be played with more than one player.
 
Glogster
http://edu.gloster.com
Glogster EDU is a site that allows students to create a digital poster with any text, images, movies, sounds, voice recordings, hyperlinks to other resources, etc. This site allows students to create project posters in a much easier way than the traditional cut and paste - with obvious benefits. They can also be  easily customized for a specific subject area. These "glogs" can also be shared via popular social networks, embedded in a student digital portfolio or classroom blog, and commented upon. Teachers are able sign up for  50 free accounts for their students and access all the student’s glogs from one dashboard.  
 
History Pin
www.historypin.com
History Pin is a site that lets teachers and students view and share their personal history in a totally new way. It uses Google Maps and Street View technology and hopes to become the largest user-generated archive of the worlds historical images and stories. History Pin asks the public to dig out, upload and pin their own old photos, as well as the stories behind them, onto the History Pin map. Uniquely, History Pin lets you layer old images onto modern Street View scenes, giving a series of peeks into the past. This is a great tool for writing compare and contrast literature and, of course, for use with a History class as well.
 
History Wired  
http://www.historywired.si.edu  
This site, from the Smithsonian Institution is a highly interactive site that gives you the opportunity to see and read about objects in this museum. Users can navigate the site by clicking on the topics beneath the timeline to see where the objects are. By clicking on the object square, you will see a picture of the object and get a description of it. Requires Java, but a text version is available.
 
Make Your Coat of Arms
http://www.makeyourcoatofarms.com/
This site allows the  creation and printing your unique  coat of arms (or family crest) based on your family ancestry or on the values that are important to you.

Museum Box

http://museumbox.e2bn.org
Museum Box is a site that provides the tools for teachers and students to build up an argument or description of an event, person or historical period by placing items in a virtual box. What items, for example, would you put in a box to describe your life; the life of a Victorian Servant or Roman soldier; or to show that slavery was wrong and unnecessary? You can display anything from text files, PDFs, videos, images, even a webcam video or audio recording that you can produce right on the site.
 
NCS Teach (2-8)
http://www.ncs-tech.org/?p=2771
This site created by Kevin Jarrett is a wonderful Social Studies site.  There are numerous related resources - many of which can be used on an interactive whiteboard.  Features Timespace World by the Washington Post,
 
Playing  History  
http://www.playinghistory.org/
This site aggregates info on free historical games, interactives and simulations on the web, in a simple, searchable database making it easy to find, rate, and review historical games. There are currently 130 shared games.
 
ScribbleMaps
http://scribblemaps.com 
This site allows the use of Google Maps to draw, annotate and to customize  maps. ScibbleMaps is the quick and easy way to rapidly create and share maps within your classroom.  With Scribble Maps you can draw shapes and Scribble- use Pace Markers and text - Create a Custom Widget- Save as KML/GPX- Send maps to friends.  This is very interactive and does work similarly to Google Earth.
 
Sumo Paint
http://www.sumopaint.com/app
Sumo Paint is an amazing web-based tool (and downloadable program as well). Think PhotoShop but free – and web based. This is one of the best photo creation/manipulation tools available today. This is a great tool for students and teachers who don't have access to or money for heavy-duty image manipulation software.

Time Line Maker
www.teach-nology.com/web_tools/materials/timelines
This site from Teachnology.com allows you to create timelines with 9 events
 
 
TimeSpace World (4-12)
 
http://specials.washingtonpost.com/timespace/world/
This site from the Washington  is an interactive map that allows you to navigate articles, photos, video and commentary from around the globe. Discover news hot-spots where coverage is clustered. Use the timeline to illustrate peaks in coverage, and customize your news searches to a particular day or specific hour.
 
My Webspiration  
http://www.mywebspiration.com/
This is is an online version of Inspiration and it is free  Use Webspiration to map out ideas, organize with outlines and collaborate online with teams or colleagues. Webspiration unleashes your creativity, strengthens organizational skills, and transforms your ideas and information into knowledge.
 
Wall Wisher
www.wallwisher.com
Wall Wisher is a web tool that allows students and teachers to collaborate on an interactive cork board. Imagine the ability to post notes with reminders about class trips, even the PDF file for the permission slip, as well as photos and other great items for your peers and students. But there are so many other uses for this great tool - Middle School students can take and organize project notes or class notes on specific content, they can easily brianstorm ideas together, and even include videos and hyperlinks to other valuable content they wish to share with their teachers and their peers. Wall Wisher is simple to use and can be shared or kept private.
 
Zefty 
http://zefty.com
This site teaches students about responsible spending and saving is difficult.  The great thing about Zefty is, although it functions like a bank account, there's no real money involved. Parents or teachers can set up and account for each student and specify how much allowance they get and how often.
 
 

 




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