I trust you have had a well-deserved break and you are ramping up for a great start to 2019 whether it is the beginning of the year or mid-year.
I wanted to start 2019 by sharing my current favorite EdTech Tools that dramatically impact the ability to add value to educators and students in their learning.
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 to ME in 2018 and will continue to do so in 2019. Apart from the amazing G-Suite Tools and the creative Apple tools, I use on a daily basis – I wanted to highlight 10 of my current favorites.
Here is my list of the Top 10 EdTech Tools for Teaching and Learning 2019:
- Empatico – Empatico is a FREE tool that connects students to the world and is purposefully NUMBER ONE on my list. I am a fan of connecting students to the world and Empatico makes it simple. Not only that but it is FREE and will always be FREE. It empowers teachers and students to explore the world through experiences that spark curiosity, kindness, and empathy by combining live video with activities designed to foster meaningful connections among students ages 7-11. Sign up NOW!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Makers Empire – As a school, this has been a game changer in the 3D design game for our students of all ages. This is a great design and creation tool that teachers and students can use to be innovative and share ideas with a vibrant community of makers. With Makers Empire, students learn how to identify needs and opportunities and then create, prototype, test and refine designs of solutions using 3D printing.
- Equity Maps – This iPad app helps to figure out which students participate in class discussions, how often, and for how long. Having entered a seating chart into the computer, the teacher taps each student’s icon as he or she starts talking, and the app keeps track of each student’s contribution time and displays a summary at the end, including a breakdown by gender. The teacher can also tap for periods of silence, pair-shares, small groups, and even “chaos” – when general discussion gives way to many smaller conversations. In addition, the app can audio-record the whole discussion for a later review.
- Hopscotch – Students here use Hopscotch as the core computational thinking/coding support application in our elementary school with great success. It is simple to use and easy to pick up for any educator and student. It is designed for students 8 and up but I have seen it used successfully with students 7-15 years. The mission of creating a programming environment that lets kids explore powerful ideas while making real software is realized immediately. Jump on and take a look and unleash on your students.
- Epic! – Epic! has been a game changer for our Elementary teachers, students, and parents. It is the leading digital library for kids 12 & under. With over 35,000 books, learning videos, quizzes and more at your fingertips you can’t go wrong. If you are an elementary teacher or parent of a child under 12, it is a no-brainer – get connected today! The best part is that it is FREE for teachers and librarians!!!
- 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?