Tuesday, July 19, 2016

So Many Tech Tools....So Little Time!

There are so many different ways to incorporate technology into the classroom and so many different applications or websites to use. I will never claim to be a technology expert, but one thing my years of experience has taught me is that you just need to jump in. Take on one or two different tech tools during a year. At first start small, you want to become comfortable with the tools you are using. Then start trying out different features or looking up different ways to use the tech tools. I know for me just playing around with something, being hands on, helps me to discover how to use something and how I want to use something. Know that just because it is out there does not mean it is the best tech tool or just the best tool for you and your class. I try to limit the number of websites I use just so I don't overwhelm my students or myself. As teachers we are spinning enough plates we don't need to spin more than we need to.

So with all of that said I'm going to talk about a few tech tools I use the most in my room and which ones I'm going to play with this year.

  1. Google Classroom- Google classroom is amazing and there are so many ways to use it. I have typically just made one class and used it for multiple different purposes. I post videos and ask students to comment or answer questions on it. I post links to games or websites we are using in class for the students to use or reference. I mainly use it as a way for students to open, create, and answer assignments. One of the great things about it is that students can access it from home or anywhere as long as they know their email.
  2. Cami- This is another Google app that you can use with Google classroom. After your students download this free app they can open documents in Cami. I love it because it allows me to scan in worksheets, outlines, etc and the students can write on them with Cami web tools. When I open them back in Google classroom I can grade them on the spot. It's just so awesome! It cuts down on paper and makes planning lessons that much easier.
  3. Classroom Dojo- I won't say much about this app because it's so great that I already wrote a blog entry on it. What I will say is that it is a great app for classroom management and family connection. It allows parents a better view of what occurs in the classroom and what their student is doing in class. Click Here to read more.
  4. Flubaroo- This is an add on for Google sheets/forms. Recently, Google has become more teacher friendly for creating and grading Google forms. Before all of these new features I have been using flubaroo and have loved all the possibilities. This add on allows you to grade Google forms and send them back to students. It can grade multiple choice questions and one word answers quickly. It also allows a hand grading option where you can give any amount of credit you want to the longer answers the students give. I have used them strictly for quick check ins and spelling tests. It has been the easiest and most painless way for me to grade spelling....so of course I love it!
This year I plan on trying just a few different tech tools. 
  1. Class flow- Classflow looks like an amazing way to make lessons and power points more interactive. Students can respond to examples and teachers can pull them up on the board to go over them. Also, the teacher can share slides or the entire powerpoint with the students so they can follow along during a lesson or reference the information. I can't wait to dive into this free tech tool and try it out with my class this year.
  2. Google Expedition- Google is amazing and constantly developing programs to make the classroom an engaging place. This program is one of those that got me sooooooo excited. I had the chance to try out Google Expedition with Google Cardboard at WITcon and it took my breath away. It allows us to take our students around the world on many different VR adventures. The app is free and my class will be seeing the world soon!
  3. Kahoot- I have used Kahoot this past year, but my hope is to use it more. I want to try and create my own Kahoot quizzes for my class, which I haven't done yet. If you don't know Kahoot is a website that allows teachers to create fun, multiple choice, timed quizzes. Students can log in with a code given by the teacher and take the quiz as a whole group online or I have seen teacher give the quizzes on the smart boards with the students showing their answer with a colored piece of paper. The Kahoot website is awesome because they have a library of quizzes you can use or you can create your own. It's a fun way to review for a test or practice skills in class. As a teacher, Kahoot allows us a quick way of seeing who is getting a concept and who is struggling.
  4. Weebly- I have just recently started my first Weebly Website. It is pretty user friendly and a great way to communicate all the amazing things going on in your class. The website will be my digital newsletter, a place to find resources, updates on our classroom, and so much more. I'm excited to use this new website to make my classroom more digital and accessible.
What Tech Tools have you used and liked? What Tech Tools are you going to try this year? 
Let me know your thoughts:
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1 comment:

  1. Useful article for the modern teacher. I would advise to all teachers of my son. I hope they will be modern. I would like to add to this list powerpoint, as presentations for students, it is one of the tools for the development of speaking in public. Who cares, I can recommend a good template for this http://www.pptstar.com/powerpoint/education-training/. I hope they will help someone.


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