Technology integration is vitally important in my classroom because it both amplifies my students’ learning and helps them perfect the 21st century skills that connect with others around the globe. As a sixth grade humanities teacher, these are currently the top ten tech tools that I consistently use in my classroom.
1. Edpuzzle is a website for facilitating flipped instruction. On edpuzzle, teachers can upload videos or use videos already on youtube, learn zillion, or other sites. Videos can be cropped, accompanied by audio notes, and included with questions. It is easy to keep track of student progress and check for understanding. Plus, the videos can be easily accessed by students at a later date if they need to revisit a learning goal.
2. Explain Everything is an ipad app with which teachers can create videos to give mini-lessons. It is simple to use, set up like a white board which teachers can write on using a stilo pen or your finger. Videos and photos can be embedded and voices can be recorded to accompany the words and images. This is a great tool for creating tiered mini-lessons for a differentiated classroom. Once created, these videos can be uploaded to edpuzzle.
3. Socrative is a quick and easy tool for giving formative assessments, exit slips, or checking for understanding. Socrative lets teachers create multiple choice or short answer questions. Multiple choice answers are automatically graded by the program and answer choices and question order can be flipped to prevent cheating. The best part is that students do not even have to remember a username and password, but instead simply type in the name of the room their teacher created and their own name to access an assessment.
4. Quizlet is a fun site for learning vocabulary. Teachers can create classes and word lists and students log in to learn the words by hearing them, spelling them, and using flash cards. What students like best is the game feature where they can quiz themselves on their knowledge of the word by playing space race or scatter.
5. Blogger, google’s blog site, is an easy and effective blogging tool. I am the administrator of our class blog, but my students are contributing authors and can sign in and post on the blog using their own google accounts. Every day a class scribe is responsible for posting a descriptive and reflective blog post about the learning activities and the purpose of the day’s class. This allows students to visit the blog for extra help and resources if they need it or check for missing work if they were absent. It also keeps a record of our learning for reflection, parents, and classrooms we partner with around the globe.
What are some of your favorite tech tools?