Tech That Got Me Excited To Teach in 2017
This weekend I am attending my second EdTechTeam Summit, which I am SUPER excited about because:
1. I absolutely love learning, period.
2. I really love learning about technology and how to use it in the classroom, and last year it completely revolutionized my teaching and got me started on this edtech journey.
Since I started using tech tools to teach, I can't imagine my (teaching) life without them.
Since I am planning to learn about a whole bunch of cool new stuff this weekend, I thought I should jot down the top tech tools I learned about last year, and that I frequently use in the classroom.
I hope you enjoy these tools (organized in no particular order) as much as I do, and I can’t wait to share what I learn this weekend at the summit, (I also can’t wait for the lunch, it was bom.com last year).
I use Pear Deck when I have important content to teach, that I want to make sure the students hear from my mouth (as opposed to posting a video or a student-directed lesson). Lately I’ve been using Pear Deck in small group lessons, as a part of “station rotations,” but it is also great with the whole group.
Why is this so great/different from a regular slide presentation? I can upload my slides to Pear Deck, and, as I teach, have students interact by answering questions that I have assigned to the slides. (Give a muliple choice question on something I just said, have them write a response or summarize, draw!)
I can see the students’ responses in real time to see if they are understanding the lesson, and they stay engaged.
I kid you not, I get “yays” when I announce a PearDeck lesson (even when it is a grammar lesson!!!!)
Truth be told, I haven’t used many video editing platforms, but this one seems pretty good so far.
What I like about it is that the visual layout makes editing intuitive. Everything is layered, and can be adjusted by a drag, pull, or double click.
What I like about using video assignments in the classroom is EVERYTHING! There are so many ways to apply it in the curriculum, and everytime I assign a video, the students are collaborating, and thinking, planning, and enjoying themselves.
Google Forms - Data Validation
Quiz on Monday? Make a form! Want student feedback? Make a form! Keeping track of student behavior? Make a form!
I could go on for days about all the uses for Google Forms, but one of the coolest I learned in 2017, was the data validation option.
When you require a specific response on Google Forms to move on to the next section, it becomes a password protected lock. Now, you want to do a scavenger hunt? Make a data-validated form! Want to do a digital breakout room? Make a data-validated form!
I could go on, and on, and on…
Like forms, Flippity could use it’s own post detailing all the amazing things it does.
It is an add-on for Google Sheets (look for the words Add-ons in the toolbar + Get add-ons) that takes a list of:
- Vocab words
- Review questions
And arranges them in fun and helpful ways.
I use it to break students up into groups, make seating charts, and play review games.
(At the time of writing) I teach 6th grade, and Gonoodle is pushing it for them on the cheese factor, but I have found a couple of useful applications.
What it IS (excuse me) is a video library, aimed at getting kids moving during the day. They are fun and silly videos (mostly directed at an elementary audience).
I love the mindfulness videos, and the choreograph dancing - but if you are an elementary teacher, I'm sure they would all be a smash.
I may be late to the game here, because when our school district sent a couple of their peeps to our school to do an organized breakout with the staff, it felt a little like when your parents got a Facebook (or Instagram, Snapchat, Music.ly… depending on how old you are).
If this is old news and everyone and their brother is already doing breakouts in their classroom, good. When you give the students full autonomy, and a academic puzzle that encourages them to collaborate and think critically, everyone wins.
(Plus the moment when they are “breaking out” and the clock is down to the final three seconds, and they all start shrieking, but then they open the final lock and all go spilling out of the room is priceless!)
You draw, and the most endearing computer voice guesses what it is.
We play with free time.
This was one of the first tech tools I used that ignited my passion for ed tech.
This is a game style review/quiz, where the students compete against each other as they answer multiple choice questions.
It might sound simple (and that is part of the beauty of it), but it is really well done, with hilarious memes after every questions, and an easy way to review questions once you are finished.
The best part is, you can search previously made “quizizz” for questions, so I rarely have to create my own questions. #reduce-reuse-recycle
Doctopus + Goobric
I love ed tech.
I do not love clicking in and out of every student’s assignment and waiting for it to load and open in a new tab.
One? Ok. 200? Gah.
This one take a minute to set up, but once it is you can scroll through student assignments as if you were shuffling through a stack of papers, and even better (yes! It gets better!) with Goobric, you can attach a rubric to the top of the page quickly assign scores and give feedback.
Time saver. Precious, I don’t want to be grading essays for the rest of my life, time saver.
Have you heard the Hyperdoc hype? It is basically an online worksheet - IF a worksheet could instantly link you to a limitless wealth of carefully curated information what would help you self-differentiate content based on your skill and interest level.
Plus they are way cooler looking.
So yeah, basically the same thing. ;)
If you would like the quick reference/cheatsheet version of these sweet tech tips,
download my infographic