5 Educational Technology Tools
Why talk about just 5 tools?
It’s a fair question to ask, "How can you only chose the best 5 tools out of the hundreds out there?" Let’s be realistic; I don’t want to take up your entire day talking about the many teaching tools available and how they can best be used and I also don’t have the space to write about hundreds of different tools. My point here is to simply give you a “jumping off point” of information and hope that what I have provided will be enough to get you interested in the topic to do further research on your own. Or if you are a teacher or parent interested in this you might find something useful to use here when helping your student.
If you are a current teacher, looking to become one hopefully you will find some interest out of the tools I talk about here.
Assessments; either Formative (beginning), Interim (middle) or Summative (ending) are one of the best places for teachers to start when going into a lesson plan even if they have taught it 100 times. Without an idea of where your students are starting from with their knowledge, it's hard to know how to adjust your plan or lesson to best fit their needs. We all know that every student will need a different approach to their learning because no two students are the same.
This doesn’t mean though that assessments must be boring; they can be fun for you and students remember that the sky is the limit on how you gather the data you need; as long as it is accurate. The sky can be the limit as far as how the assessment is presented if the information you gather is the same; how the students are doing with the lesson.
Some good places to find Formative Assessments are Answer Garden, Quizalize, FlipQuiz and Formative. These sites are fun and put you in control of a lot but the sites are there to help if you need it. The positive of using online assessment as opposed to written is it gives students that chance to have fun with technology and have fun with your assessment at the same time. Students who can have fun, enjoy class while learning your lesson and learning about technology at the same time can only be a win-win for you as a parent or educator. The more fun students are having the better chance they will retain what they have learned and be successful in the future.
Let's play a game
No really, let’s play a game with our students. Studies show that students who are engaged and having fun while learning are more likely to remember the lesson; anyone remember The Oregon Trail?
There are even sites that let you create a game that gets students to learn what you want which is also another way of testing their knowledge on a subject. One of the more popular gaming sites is Minecraft, which is the modern-day equivalent of what The Oregon Trail was to us 90’s kids. If you are looking to just have some fun and quiz students you can even use a site called Puzzlemaker which allows you to generate a puzzle for students to solve.
Anything that allows a student to get familiar with technology will not only benefit the student but it also benefits the world around them. With every passing month, it seems we are growing in technology, if students are given the chance to explore that technology in a controlled and caring environment they will have the confidence they need when they enter the workforce and everything is done by mind control. I’m exaggeration of course on everything done with mind control; or am I?
Let’s get creative
Letting students get creative can really help them focus more. How many times a day do you find it hard to concentrate because you have something else on your mind? Students can sometimes feel the same way and if educators can find a way to let them share that creative side and at the same time teach them something it’s to the benefit of the student and the teacher. If you are teaching a creative writing class or just teaching to students to learn how to write properly online blogging/writing allows students to be creative, use online tools it’s another all-around win for everyone. For Blogging or creative writing there is of course always sites like Hubpages, for older students who might continue writing, or one of my other favorites Storybird.
Without getting political I think we all understand that sometimes the funds aren’t available for schools that we would like to allow students every single technical tool we would like. There are however ways that teachers can get around lack of funds while still giving students a fun lesson and teaching them about the world around them. Teachers can now, thanks to technology, take students on virtual field trips without ever leaving the classroom. This type of approach to having students see something visually and still learn a lesson from the teacher is extremely beneficial for the teacher but also for the students.
How many times have you been to the Zoo or museum, seen the buses and thought, “oh no”? Based on personal experience I have talked to a few teachers before who feel overwhelmed with keeping track of their students and sometimes the parents. Understand I don’t want to say budget cuts to take these fun things away from students is a good thing, merely point out the benefit of having this technology around for students.
I hope this outline of information has been helpful and you can find some benefit from them.
© 2017 Chosen Shades