In a Simple K12 blog post titled “17 Signs Your Classroom is Behind the Times” they provide a list of things that characterize a classroom that has fallen behind. Number 16 lists a variety of technology tools that every educator should know about.
As I read the list, I realized that although many teachers are interested in and excited about technology integration, they are too busy to explore all the new technology tools available online.
This blog post is dedicated to all of the overworked teachers who just don’t have the time to seek out this information. I have provided brief explanations, links to and pictures of the tools mentioned by Simple K12 (and a couple of my favorites). I hope this makes it more manageable for teachers to pick and choose which tools they want to use.
1. Collaborize Classroom- a free collaborative education platform with a highly developed discussion component. Perfect for engaging students in structured discussions (using a variety of question types) about the curriculum. Create study groups, facilitate collaborative group work and flip your classroom with this platform!
2. Prezi- a cloud-based presentation software that has the ability to zoom in and out to show relative importance of ideas and group concepts together. Prezi is visually stimulating; a great alternative to Power Point which can feel static.
3. Evernote- a way to capture, index and remember information using a computer, phone, and web. Students can take notes, capture favorite videos, save webpages, and collaborate on projects using Evernote. It is the notebook of the 21st century.
4. Glogster- an online interactive poster/collage maker. Students can combine text, music, pictures and video to create a dynamic poster or collage online to share. This is an alternative to the classic scissors, glue and magazines approach to poster and collage making.
5. Socrative- a free student response system that can be used with smart phones, iPads or laptops! Teachers can take polls, give quizzes, play with space races or end the lesson with an exit ticket. Results of quizzes can be exported into an excel sheet to make grading infinitely easier!
6. WillYou.Typewith.me- is an easy way for students to collaborate on a single document online. It is an alternative to Google.docs.
7. Storybird- is a collaborative storytelling tool. Students can create short art inspired stories that can be shared or printed. Students can pair their writing with images to bring their stories, poetry, songs, etc. to life!
[Note: StoryJumper is another online digital storybook maker worth checking out!]
8. JayCut- is a free online video editing tool. [Note: I was unable to create an account because they are currently not accepting new users- hopefully this is temporary.] This looks like a great alternative to iMovie for people working with PCs.
9. Wordle- a fun online tool for creating colorful word clouds from text you provide. This is an easy way to highlight the main points from an online conversation, speech, article, etc.
10. Tiki-Toki- an esthetically pleasing web-based timeline tool. Students can create interactive multimedia timelines using images, text and videos that are easy to embed.
11. StudyBlue- an online tool for making flashcards with video and audio elements, taking notes, and preparing for exams.
12. Pixton- an online comic maker that allows students the creativity to design their own characters, add sound, upload pictures and images, use a variety of speech bubbles, and print, download or embed the finished comic.