Following up from the honor of being selected in Huffington Posts Top 12 Global Education Blogs of 2014-2016 I have been chosen again in this amazing group and for 2017 will be contributing to Huffington Post’s Education blog once a month. This month we look at the following highly controversial topic “What edtech tools have dramatically supported/improved learning in your classroom environment in the past few years?” – here is my response:
Image Source: https://seymoureducate.com/2017/10/21/three-of-my-favorite-edtech-tools/
I love this time of year! Celebrations are everywhere and there is a positive feeling in the air. With this comes a sense of reflection and forward planning. As such, over the past month I have spent some time thinking about, compiling and working through my favorite, least favorite, and put simply, THE BEST EdTech tools (both physical and digital) to support teaching and learning in a K-12 setting (and beyond – I know this because I use a lot of these with teachers on the daily). The list is constantly changing and is large, due to the sheer number of amazing tools at our disposal as educators. For the sake of clarity, my list will focus on digital tools that have dramatically improved and supported student (and teacher) learning at my school in 2017. Apart from the amazing Google Suite Tools and the creative Apple tools, I use on a daily basis – I wanted to highlight 12 of my current favorites and those I have used on the daily throughout 2017.
Image Source: https://globaldigitalcitizen.org/60-free-edtech-tools-4-core
Just in time for the holiday season (giving you some time to explore over the break) here is my list of the Top 12 EdTech Tools for Teaching and Learning 2017/2018:
- Seesaw is a student-driven digital portfolio. It makes it simple to get student work in one place and share it with parents. It is FREE for teachers, students and families although the SeeSaw for Schools package is amazing for a small fee per student and adds a lot of power and analytical functions to my favorite tool! If you haven’t had the chance to explore it yet – DO IT! You will not be disappointed. We rolled this out to 1400 students and their parents in 3 months with incredible results and 100% positive feedback from teachers.
- Cospaces_edu bring VR creation to everyone, including kids – easily design your own virtual reality experiences and dive in using any mobile device. The Techsperts at my school are currently exploring this with many creating virtual tours of their classrooms, houses and our school. There are teachers using this in our secondary school to encourage students to learn, explore and define spaces. So much potential – get involved and of course, watch this blog for more to come on this VERY soon.
- Skype and the Microsoft Education Portal are my go-to resources to connect, engage and inspire students and teachers. They have become a part of my toolkit that I use on the daily. It is free to be involved and you don’t have to have anything to do with Microsoft tools or devices to make the most of it. Do yourself a HUGE favor and jump on board to learn more.
- Visme is a “drag and drop” tool that is easy to use for creating infographics, reports, different presentations and more. It has a library full of images, charts and more, making it easy for users to create exactly what they need. One example of its use in my school is with our Grade 5 students who use this throughout the year and a lot choose to use it during their PYP exhibition to visualize and share their learning in an exciting and engaging way.
- Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality is hot right now – late 2016 and the early parts of 2017 we were only using it to consume content (we still do this as there is a place for this) but now we have teachers and students using tools like Cospaces_edu to create their own virtual content. Check out what we do with VR to engage students in learning –> https://t.co/OO7vCYZKNK & https://t.co/Bnl0sf5FCW
- Remind is an incredibly powerful (and FREE) tool to communicate. Do you get tired of hearing that your students “didn’t know” or “forgot” about homework or an upcoming test? Remind is an easy fix. It’s a safe and secure way to send quick reminders to any device, including student cell phones. You can schedule reminders in advance and translate them into over 70 languages. You can also get parents to sign up, so they’ll see the same reminders and announcements as your students. I use remind to send scheduled reminders of my weekly #whatisschool chats to over 500 people.
- Explain Everything is a cloud collaboration platform built on the learning technology of tomorrow. Whether you are sending just-in-time messages to colleagues or recording lessons for students. Explain everything is the imagination space that helps you tell your unique story. Imagine this in the hands of your students and you have yourself one of the best tools for creation possible in the classroom. We use this from students as young as 5 to allow them to unleash their creativity and express themselves to share their learning – SUPER powerful.
- Flipgrid is a social learning tool for everyone. The leading video discussion platform for millions of PreK to Ph.D. educators, students, and families. We use Flipgrid regularly across our grades to easily connect with people and get opinions and answers to topics of learning. Well worth a look!
- With Adobe Spark you can create social graphics, web pages, and videos that will wow your audience on every device. A perfect fit for the creation based classroom. This is a new tool for me that I am just starting to explore to find the benefits but so far I am blown away by its capabilities for the K12 classroom.
- Kahoot brings fun into learning, for any subject, for all ages. Create, play and share learning games for FREE. This is so much of a staple diet that you probably have known about this AND used it for a long time however we use it so much I couldn’t NOT add it to my list.
- Green Screen by DoInk is one of the best tools for unleashing creativity. Green Screen by DoInk makes it easy to create incredible green screen videos and images right on your iPhone or iPad. The app lets you combine photos and videos from the camera roll with live images from your device’s camera. The app emphasizes ease-of-use and simplicity while still enabling you to get fantastic results. Tell a story, explain an idea and express yourself in truly creative and unique ways.
- Twitter!!!!! No list of mine is complete without mentioning Twitter! The tool I use to connect, engage, be inspired and to learn on a daily basis. If I need something, I ask and I receive. If others ask, I try to deliver. I learn more from Twitter in a day than I do at a 2-day conference because it is targeted and self-directed by me! If you are not on Twitter? Give it a shot this holiday season by following my simple tips here and if you want 30 of the best educators to follow then here is my list for that as well.
I hope you enjoyed my list! I would love to hear from you below what you love and what you loathe. Why not share your favorites as well?
Have a safe and happy holiday season everyone! See you in 2018!