Tech Tools to Add a Little Depth or Oomph to the Classroom
Google Education: Google offers a number of great edtech resources for teachers, including email and collaborative apps, videos, lesson plan search, professional development, and even educational grants. Apple iPad: One of the most widely used, though expensive, tech tools being used in today’s classroom is the Apple iPad. With a host of educational apps being developed for the device, it’s become a favorite of teachers and students alike across the nation. Popplet: You and your students can use Popplet to brainstorm ideas, create mindmaps, share, and collaborate. GoogleEarth: From geography projects to learning about geological processes, Google Earth can be an amazing and fast way to show students anywhere in the world. AudioBoo: Through this tool, you can record and share audio for your students or anyone else.
Tech Tools for Connecting with Students & Parents
Edmodo: Teachers and students can take advantage of this great tech tool, as it offers a Facebook-like environment where classes can connect online. EduBlogs: EduBlogs offers a safe and secure place to set up blogs for yourself or your classroom. Skype: Skype can be a great tool for keeping in touch with other educators or even attending meetings online. Even cooler, it can help teachers to connect with other classrooms, even those in other countries. Wikispaces: Share lessons, media, and other materials online with your students, or let them collaborate to build their own educational wiki on Wikispaces. Schoology: Through this social site, teachers can manage lessons, engage students, share content, and connect with other educators. OpenStudy: Encourage your students to work together to learn class material by using a social study site like OpenStudy. ePals: One of the coolest benefits of the Web is being able to connect with anyone, anywhere. ePals does just that, but focuses on students, helping them to learn languages and understand cultures different from their own.
Tech Tools for Increasing Student Engagement
Khan Academy: Many teachers use this excellent collection of math, science, and finance lectures and quizzes to supplement their classroom materials. Educreations: Educreations is an amazing online tool for the iPad that lets teachers (or students) create videos that teach a given topic. Perfect for studying or getting students to show off their knowledge. Socrative: Available for computers, mobile devices, and tablets, this student response system engages students through games and exercises on any device they have on hand. Even better, teachers can easily assess student progress and track grades. Kerproof: On Kerpoof, students can get creative with their learning with games, interactive activities, drawing tools, and more that are both fun and educational. FlipGrid: Using FlipGrid, students can upload short video responses to questions and prompts. Padlet: Students can upload responses and thoughts to any prompt to an interactive and live message board.
Tech Tools for Developing Lessons & Projects
TeachersPayTeachers: Have great lessons to share? Looking for something to add to your classes? On this site you can do both, selling your own class materials and buying high-quality resources from other teachers. PlanBoard: Make sure your lessons are organized and that your day runs smoothly with the help of this amazing online tool designed just for teachers. Timetoast: Timetoast is a pretty cool for student projects, allowing them to build sleek, interactive timelines in minutes. Prezi: Want to build presentations that will wow your students? Make use of this online tool that makes it simple to do all kinds of cool things with your lessons, even allowing collaboration between teachers. Wordle: Create stunning word clouds using Wordle, a great complement to language lessons of any kind. Quizlet: Quizlet makes it easy for teachers to create study tools for students, especially flashcards that can make memorizing important information a snap. GoogleDocs:Through Google Docs, teachers can create and share documents, presentations, or spreadsheets with students and colleagues as well as give feedback on student-created projects. YouTube: There’s even a special education-focused channel just for teachers and students. TED-Ed: TED isn’t just a great place to find inspiration anymore, the site also contains numerous videos that are organized by subject and can help you to teach everything from how pain relievers work to Shakespearean insults. Glogster: Glogster is a social site that lets users mash up music, photos, videos, and pretty much anything else you’d like. It’s a great way to create learning materials and a handy tool for creative student projects.
Other Notes About Available tools, software, operating systems, resources, and equipment:
In the past year, I have added Padlet, Thinglink, and FlipGrid to my educational technology tools repertoire thanks to suggestions made by our TGC instructor. No educational resources are blocked from teacher use through our firewall, but all standard social media is controlled from student use. Only media with identified educational purposed is permitted (with a request from a student). We are not necessarily a one-to-one school, but I would be surprised if we don’t have enough resources in our school to have every student in front of a screen at any given time. Teachers are given freedom and latitude with their technology use – no one is required, about 75% of us use tech tools on a regular basis. In my classroom, I have a classroom set of 28 ChromeBooks. Our school has 4 mobile laptop cart labs, and three full-size computer labs that teachers can reserve. We have multiple subscriptions to everything from Oddyseyware, Rosetta Stone, Atomic Learning, and Google Classroom. Generally speaking, we have access to almost anything we need or want. A simple request can secure any new educational technology that we desire to use for the classroom. Every teacher, including me, has a teacher laptop, a teacher iPad, a SmartBoard, Projector, Doc Cams, smart projectors, and anything else we individually request.
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