Technology overload is definitely a thing. The more is not the merrier. Here are a few EdTech products for you to check out, but MAYBE you should try one. Tools do not teach. There is no panacea. With any tool you must start with pedagogy and choose a tool that helps to improve the pedagogy. Here are 6 technologies to try for the new school year but focus on what your goal is before deciding if this is something that will improve teaching and learning.
6 Technologies to Try for the New School Year
1. Goal: Students Are More Creative
Creativity is that NOT all students are doing the same thing. One way to encourage creativity is to allow students to decide how they will present their understanding of the learning objective.
Book Creator is a digital tool that allows you to create interactive books. You can add text, images, videos, and audio to your books. Book Creator is a great tool for students who want to create their own stories, textbooks, or even comic books.
Since students can utilize multi-media they have many options for how they can creativity demonstrate their learning.
2. Goal: Students Reflect on Their Learning
Reflection is an essential part of the learning process. Capturing the reflection in a meaningful way can be challenging.
Microsoft Flip is a video discussion and sharing app. Teachers can create grids, which act as communities for students to work in. Within each grid, teachers can create prompts called topics, and students post video responses to the prompts and replies to each other’s videos. Flip is a great tool for students to practice their speaking skills, collaborate with each other, and share their learning.
3. Goal: Give Every Students a Voice
Who gets to participate? The one or two students confident enough to raise their hand? The student who is voluntold with a popsicle stick?
Padlet is a collaborative online whiteboard. Teachers can create Padlets to share information, collaborate with students, or collect feedback. Padlet is a great tool for students who learn best by doing or who need a space to share their ideas.
4. Goal: Fostering Student Engagement
Engagement matters. How to engage students is a tricky question. There is no magic bullet that works for everyone. Too many digital tools are plain boring. Consider if the tool allows for increased engagement.
Quizizz is a great tool for engaging students and helping them learn. The gamified format makes quizzes more fun and motivating, and the interactive features help students to retain information. Quizzes can also be used to assess student learning and to track progress over time.
5. Goal: Enrich Beyond the Textbook
Art is important. Incorporating art into buildings and public spaces makes for a better experience. Look at how many people gather at “The Bean” in Chicago. Bringing art into our lessons provides so many benefits.
Google Arts & Culture: Google Arts & Culture is a platform that allows users to explore art and culture from around the world. Google Arts & Culture offers a variety of VR experiences, including tours of museums, historical sites, and even outer space.
6. Faster Feedback
The quality of the feedback matters but also the speed. High quality feedback weeks later is not as effective.
Edpuzzle: Edpuzzle is a tool that allows teachers to create interactive videos. Teachers can add questions, quizzes, and other activities to their videos. Edpuzzle is a great tool for engaging students and helping them learn. Edpuzzle Teacher Assist is full of time-saving tools that allow you to generate and embed questions with a click and autograde open-ended questions.
Being overwhelmed by a lot of different technology tools will not improve your classroom. Choose a goal that you are working and and decide on one EdTech tool at a time that will help you to achieve that goal.
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MATH! You will love using Book Creator in Math. Creativity, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Communication, Peer Evaluation, Authentic Audience, Multi-Media, and more! No matter what grade level you teach, Book Creator is great for your classroom.