Last year about this time, I wrote about Top 25 Tech Tools to try in 2015. These are still great options for 2016 but I wanted to highlight several more that you can use this upcoming school year. The same tech tools criteria applies…
Edtech continues to evolve and grow, with new players entering the ring all the time. It can be overwhelming to keep up with, particularly when so many of the tools happen to accomplish the same end goal.
Which ones are the best for the K-12 setting? What tools are likely to be available on your school network?
Don’t fear! I made a list!
This list highlights new tech tools to try in 2016 (not on last year’s list). Don’t be surprised if they make your classroom super fantastic….
This site for the classroom is jam packed full of useful features including an instant whiteboard, chat/collaboration capabilities, badges, free lessons, delivers assignments and assessments with ease, and data/analytics to track student progress. Plus, it easily connects to your Dropbox, Google Drive, or One Drive account. The interactive help with videos is extremely useful for getting started. Oh! AND they just released the “Alien Race Game” to help gamify your assessments.
Buncee is such a cool little tool for illustrating knowledge! Students of all ages have the capability of dragging and dropping lots of cool media (videos, pictures, etc) to create interactive displays of any subject. I also had the privilege of being a guest blogger writing about Digital Citizenship and working with them was an absolute pleasure!Thinglink take a static picture and makes it come to life using radio buttons, which can include text, links, and videos. Share your Thinglink with your class across any device.
Easel.ly is a free way to create infographics either using templates or you can create your own. The free version comes with 60 free images and 10 different fonts. Have you ever created an infographic? It definitely takes some critical thinking skills! Students must completely understand the concept prior to creating an infographic.
If you haven’t checked out Go Noodle yet….stop what you are doing and head right over! It is an amazing collection of fun, free, and interactive videos to get your students up moving! The categories range from “dancing” to “calming” and are excellent brain breaks to use throughout the school year.
Formative provides real time formal assessments. What really makes this tool stand out from the crowd is that allows participants to draw (perfect for solving math problems). Formative is one of my top picks to promote the power of formative assessments in your classroom. To read more on Formative assessment tools, check out 10 Formative Assessment Tools to Try in 2015.
Plickers or “paper clickers” enables teachers to scan students’ paper cards with their device, gaining real time results to assess student knowledge. The best part? You only need one device and the paper cards for students to answer questions. To read more on Formative assessment tools, check out 10 Formative Assessment Tools to Try in 2015.
Kidblog has been around awhile but in 2016, it’s time to get your students blogging! You will enjoy all the features of a blog without worrying about student privacy. From a safety standpoint, this is the best option. Plus, it is an easy platform to introduce your students to blogging and get them writing in any class.
Mystery Skype is a critical thinking exercise in which your class and another anywhere in the world. Students can only ask “yes” or “no” questions to guess where in the world the other class is located. It’s great fun! Paul Solarz has the best page on Mystery Skype and was so generous to answer my (many) questions I had via Twitter.Google Tour Builder is something you can use in any class, at any grade level. Since Google has been photographing the world, amazing “tours” can be taken of almost any city in the world or around your own neighborhood. Imagine the possibilities for teaching history, learning about a new culture in a foreign language class, and more!
I am recommending Field Trip Zoom because in my years of teaching high school I was only able to take one class of students on a field trip. It was epic. My students learned SO much at the Chrysler Museum about world history. They have art from Egypt, Greece, Rome, Japan, the Americas, and more. Field Trip Zoom enables teachers to take students on an interactive experience without leaving their classroom (all you need is a camera, microphone, speakers, and a quick software download). They have a catalog of programs, most are around $60 and you pay for the yearly subscription. Certainly cheaper and more time efficient than leaving the building. If you are looking for a full review on FieldTripZoom, I have written an entire post you can read on Virtual Field Trips: Connecting Kids to Experts Using FieldTripZoom.
Last year, I recommended NoRedInk, which is still a great option. But consider Quill as another excellent ELA website that enables students to proofread passages, learn grammatical concepts, and an interactive activity that pairs students together to write a story based on a list of words. For more information on how to make teaching grammar fun, check out my post on Three Tech Tools to Make Learning Grammar Fun.
I first learned of this delightful site by following Richard Byrne’s Free Technology for Teachers blog, which is my absolute favorite ed tech blog out there! You can use Word Tamer to help your students learn about literary devices as they interact with a carnival. It’s fun!
Ok, promise this is my last “ELA pick” but really teaching writing is important in all subjects (so I don’t feel so bad about introducing various ELA tools). Grammar Flip, in the spirit of the “Flipped Classroom” is a series of videos and practice activities that students can access at home or school for reinforcement. For more information on how to make teaching grammar fun, check out my post on Three Tech Tools to Make Learning Grammar Fun.
Ten Marks is a free math site created by Amazon, which allows students to practice math skills with scaffolded lessons, videos, and embedded hints. The free version only allows you to utilize content from one grade level and doesn’t have the same reporting capabilities as the premium accounts but it’s a good option for extra practice.
The History Project allows you to organize memories in an interactive timeline. Users have the ability to link images, audio, video, and text documents on their timeline.I wish I had this as a high school history teacher, it would make a great end of the year review.
Do you have any suggestions for tech tools to try? Please let me know!