By Swaroop Raju, co-founder of eduCanon.
Yes, there are a ton of great ed-tech tools out there, but which ones should you be adopting for your classroom? One of the best ways to narrow your choices is to get in touch with experts. I sent an email out to ed-tech experts (and great teachers) asking for their recommendations.
Here are the top 10 responses from master teachers. I hope some of these tools will be useful for you too:
Jennifer Appell, U.S. history and law teacher at Bonney Lake High School:
“I love using GAFE- Google Apps For Education. Particularly Google docs and presentations. This gets students to work collaboratively and simultaneously. Students love to work together and they can be on the same document together, contributing. Students can also comment and continue their work outside of the classroom. As the teacher, I love that I can monitor their work through the revision history as well as being the owner of the documents.”
Trent Goldsmith, accounting, economics and business teacher at Waverly High School:
“I use eduCanon in my classroom due to its compatibility with a blended classroom. EduCanon allows my students to create a ‘path’ and to take ownership for their own learning of concepts. It frees me up to teach application of these concepts in class. Furthermore, it allows me to check for understanding (through questioning during the videos), and it allows students to ‘get caught up’ if they are gone.”
Patrick Irvine, biology teacher at Hamilton County School:
“It allows you to create online formative assessments quickly and you can monitor the students as they complete the assessment and can even grade the assessment as they are completing it. You can literally see what they are doing and it has an option for them to draw or type. You can also upload any worksheet and turn into an assessment which can be typed or drawn on.”
Therese Black, high school math teacher at Killester College:
“I use Screencast-O-Matic to record videos which explain basic skills and concepts. Students watch these videos in their own time, which frees up class time for analysis and discussion.
The pro version of Screencast-O-Matic costs $15 per year. It is very easy to use, and with a click of a button I can upload my videos straight to YouTube, then create eduCanon videos from there.”
Leslie Miller, chair of mathematics at The York School:
“I use Classkick as a way for students to work in groups, doing an activity that has them moving about, but getting feedback from the teacher without having me talk to them directly (e.g. scavenger hunt).”
6. Pear Deck
Derek D’Angelo, economics teacher at Eisenhower High School:
“My first measure of the quality of an educational technology tool is what level it promotes student engagement in learning. The latest and greatest tool I have found to increase student engagement is Pear Deck. Pear Deck is a hybrid interactive presentation, inquiry-based learning, and formative assessment tool.”
Catherine Wilensky, upper school math teacher at University Liggett School
“The tool I use nearly every single day in class is Desmos. It is an exceptionally fast and intuitive tool. Students have learned how to use it quickly and easily, and can see instantaneous transformations of functions, thanks to a slider bar. ”
Jennifer Appell, U.S. history and law at Bonney Lake High School:
“Padlet is a great way to get students to ‘talk’ and participate without having to be the center of attention. It helps students who do not usually raise their hands to be actively engaged. Plus, kids really like to see the instant responses. We use this to have students comment during direct instruction, as an intro to a new topic, and as an exit slip. The possibilities are endless.”
Patrick Bonner, Spanish teacher at Buck Lodge Middle School:
“I use ExitTicket because it allows me to monitor the progress of every student, in real time, without embarrassing any who are struggling to master the material.”
Diane Vrobel, science teacher at Archbishop Hoban High School:
“I use Showbie constantly for electronic file submission from my students. Our school has 1-to-1 iPads and we use Showbie as a way for student to submit labs, homework and worksheets for the teacher to grade. It is great because I don’t have to bring home a stack of papers. I fit all my work to grade in my iPad mini.”
- Five Tools and Tips for Working with Students Online
- The Next Big Thing in Online Video: Student Production
- Five Steps to a Great Video Lesson
For more information, follow eduCanon on Twitter @educanon123.