My Favorite Things and Recommended Resources

My Favorite Things and Recommended Resources!

I get a lot of questions about the resources I use, and recommendations for certain tasks. So I thought it would be helpful to create a recommended resource page for educators with all of my favorite things: my favorite web tools, gadgets, books and more.

* The links in this post are affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase after clicking on them, I get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting the free resources on Shake Up Learning!

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WordPress

grammarlyGrammarly

Grammarly is a WONDERFUL tool for checking your spelling, grammar and more. It also will check for plagiarism, word choice and make suggestions. My writing is far from perfect and I need all the help I can get. Grammarly is a life-saver! CLICK HERE to sign-up for Grammarly. Then install the Grammarly Chrome Extension so it will check your writing across the web: email, social media, blogging, etc.


Canva is a free and fabulous web tool for creating images, posters, infographics, presentations, flyers and more! Almost all of the images I create for this site and for my social media posts are created with Canva. Canva makes design easy! Plus, it allows me to create original images with my logo and branding. Canva will help you and your students look like you majored in graphic design! CLICK HERE to sign up for Canva.

picmonkeyPicmonkey

Picmonkey is a freemium image and photo editing web tool. I use Picmonkey for quick editing and access to cool themes and images. I often even app smash and create images in Picmonkey.

Picmonkey has lots of little Photoshop-esque editing tools, filters, shadows, borders, and really fun seasonal backgrounds and images. I used Picmonkey to create the background images for the magnetic poetry templates. Such a fun tool for teachers and students.CLICK HERE to sign up for Picmonkey.

Fiverr

Fiverr is a freelance marketplace, where you can get someone to complete a task for you for as little as five dollars. I’ve used Fiverr for advanced programming projects, WordPress troubleshooting, and to create the Shake Up Learning Chrome Extension.CLICK HERE to create a Fiverr account.


Image result for unsplash logoUnsplash Photos

Unsplash Photos is a stock photography website where you can get high-quality, royalty-free images for your website, blog, or presentations. “Over 550,000 free (do-whatever-you-want) high-resolution photos brought to you by the world’s most generous community of photographers.”

I use Unsplash to get eye-catching photos for my keynotes and presentations, and for blog images as well. They also have a great add-on for Google Slides. CLICK HERE to join Unsplash.

99Designs.com

Buffer

The Buffer app makes is super easy to schedule social media posts, share content across several social media platforms: including Facebook, Twitter, G+ Pages, LinkedIn and Pinterest. The individual plan is free and you can connect one profile from each of your social accounts with the exception of Pinterest. Pinterest is only available in the Awesome Plan, which is only $10/month. I pay for this one and use Buffer to connect to RSS feeds so I can share posts from my favorite blogs easily. I also recommend the Buffer Chrome extension which will give the option to share using Buffer across the web. CLICK HERE to sign-up for a Buffer account.

tweetdeckTweetdeck

Tweetdeck is hugely popular and also offers a way to create as Twitter dashboard with columns for each item you would like to follow on Twitter, and it is completely FREE.

I really like Tweetdeck for a snapshot of what’s happening with my PLN on Twitter, and it is my go-to for Twitter chats! Especially if I am moderating a Twitter chat, I set up Tweetdeck to follow all of the accounts and hashtags pertinent to that chat, AND I schedule my answers to be sent at the time of each question. This way, I can focus on interacting in the chat and not crafting my answers. Some chats are so incredibly fast, so scheduling can make moderation a much easier task.

Yes, this is a repeat! Canva is a very import tool in my social media toolbox and it deserves repeating! Canva is a free and fabulous web tool for creating images, posters, infographics, presentations, flyers and more!

Almost all of the images I create for this site and for my social media posts are created with Canva. Canva makes design easy! Plus, it allows me to create original images with my logo and branding. Canva will help you and your students look like you majored in graphic design! CLICK HERE to sign up for Canva.


GADGETS & ACCESSORIES

View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack

I love my View-Master, and not just because of the retro look. The View-Master brings the power of virtual reality AND augmented reality into ONE device. So you can drop your phone inside and use the same VR compatible apps that work across many other devices, and you can use the special View-Master apps and trigger reels to explore space, National Geographic locations, and more!

JBL Portable BlueTooth Speaker with Audio Cable

When I present, I always have videos! And even though most places have built in sound systems these days, this little speaker comes in handy! It’s super small and fits nicely in the mesh pocket in my Ogio backpack (mentioned below). AND even though it is small, it still produces a nice, loud sound that can easily be heard in a classroom. Oh, and it is Bluetooth but it also has a short audio cable that wraps around the body of the speaker, so it doesn’t get lost. Blue Tooth is great when it works, and if it is your device, but the cable makes it nice to share as well. This speaker has saved me so many times!

Zenergy Ball Chair Safeco Zenergy Ball Chair

I have seen several versions of these over the last couple of years but discovered this model at SXSWEdu. It was the first one that I found comfortable and decided to purchase one for my home office. It does contain an exercise ball so it will help you engage your core as well!


Looking for Book Recommendations?

Check out this post: 50 Awesome Books for Teachers!

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