Edmodo, Evernote, & Dropbox - Tech Tools for Use in the Classroom
Advances in personal computing, classroom technology, and network-based tools have made inroads into the teaching, research, and service aspects of higher education (Kazley, et al., 2013). Scholars believe effective utilization of technology for educational purposes initiates from the part of teachers not students. There’s also some degree of tech uncomfortability for veteran teachers compared to millennium teachers. Therefore, new teachers enter the profession comfortable with technology for personal use; they must still be thoughtful regarding the application of technology for instructional purposes (Hammonds, Matherson, Wilson, & Wright, 2013).
Therefore, for the paradigm to shift now from ‘knowing how-to’ integrate tech in the classroom to ‘what tools to use’ to , we show some specific tech tools for use in the classroom—Edmodo, Evernote, and Dropbox—that streamline the professional tasks.
Edmodo—Facebook for Education—for a Paperless Classroom
Edmodo ( http://www.edmodo.com ), a free walled garden social networking site specifically designed for education, can help teachers stay organized and assist teachers who wish to go paperless. Many school systems limit the connections among teachers and students via social media, but Edmodo is one of the safest alternatives to these limitations. Edmodo is also a user-friendly because it has the nickname of Facebook for Education. In addition of allowing students to complete daily class assignments online, Edmodo also offers quiz and poll features. Also, students can access it any time via computer, tablet, or smartphones.
Evernote for Digital Notebooks & Data Collection
Evernote ( http://www.evernote.com ) bills itself as the free tool that allows users to capture anything, access it anywhere, and find things fast. It allows teachers to create digital notebooks that help to organize all aspects of classroom life.
At a time when individualized instruction and documentation of student progress are essential, Evernote can be a lifesaver. This tool can replace cumbersome data notebooks or paper-file systems and provides sharing options for easy collaboration and communication among colleagues.
Dropbox for File Sharing and Collaboration
Dropbox ( http://www.dropbox.com ) is a cloud storage service that allows for easy access to files, so teachers can utilize their resources and plan instruction from anywhere. Additionally, the tool facilitates file sharing and can aid teachers in collaboration and sharing of resources. Available o a variety of platforms including Windows, Mac, IOS, Android, and Blackberry, free membership in Dropbox currently comes with 2GB of space, although paid subscription offer up to 100GB and users may also earn more space by inviting students and colleagues to use Dropbox and by participating in other promotional activities.
Do you currently use one of these tech tools?
It is important to remember that tech tools are just that—tools. They are not the ends in and of themselves but rather the means for assisting teachers in making instruction better. Additionally, the tools presented here are just representatives in a substantial and growing pool of online offerings. As stated in the introduction, for change to take place in the classroom, the paradigm shift must begin with the teachers rather than the students. When teachers see the value of technology and the impact it can have upon their classroom practices, such awareness opens the gates for further technology integration. Such integration may help set the stage for students to reap the benefits of technology-embedded instruction well into the future.