Sunday, September 14, 2014

My Favorite EdTech Tools (30 Day Blogging Challenge: Day 13)

Name the top edtech tools that you use on a consistent basis in the classroom, and rank them in terms of their perceived effectiveness.

Although there are quite a few other tools that I also routinely use with students, these are my top five.

ThingLink is a tool that allows students and teachers to create interactive images.  I have used this tool for a variety of different projects, and have found that students really enjoy it.  Here is a link to some examples of ways that I've used it professionally.

Socrative is a great tool for formative assessment that invites students to use any smart device to answer questions provided by a teacher.  There is even a "space race" feature that can be used by student teams who compete to answer the most questions correctly.  My favorite thing about this tool is that students who may be quiet in class can easily participate.  I've used this tool to introduce classroom procedures, as a pre-assessment, and to quickly check the pulse on a class.  You can create your own quizzes or download quizzes created by others.

Google Drawings
Google Drawings is one of the most underrated tools in the GAFS toolkit.  Because Google Drawings can be downloaded as JPEG files, they are great for use in a variety of projects.  I've used Google Drawings to teach students about copyright and creative commons.    Students have used their drawings to create interactive images in ThingLink, illustrations in Animoto videos and Movenote presentations, Aurasma trigger images, and more.

This is an example of a Google Drawing assignment using ThingLink.




MoveNote is a wonderful tool for students and teachers to tell stories and showcase their learning. Movenotes feature images in the form of a scrolling presentation, but they also allow a story teller to record a video of themselves (or a talking avatar) to convey even more information.  I've found that students who've created MoveNote presentations increased their reading fluency while practicing their scripts.  Here is a link to a MoveNote that I made that includes a Tellegami talking avatar.

ImageCodr is a useful tool for getting the attribution information for Creative Commons images available on Flickr.  If you'd like to learn more, you can watch my video tutorial here.