9 EdTech Tools That Every Teacher Should Try
Technology and digital education are becoming the norm. Teachers and parents can fight innovation or they can get creative and roll with it. Most jobs and office processes these days are made much easier with the use of technology. Learning how to integrate technology with productivity early on will benefit students in the long run. Almost every aspect of life will rely on technology in the future, so the better we educate ourselves and our students now, the easier the future will be.
There are a lot of educational tools and apps created to enhance learning and better assist teachers — both inside the classroom and out. The right digital educational tools can make a massive difference in the learning environment.
Here are 9 EdTech tools and apps that every teacher should at least try. Let us know what you think of the list below.
Most people who went to school fifteen years ago will remember the old projectors being wheeled into the classrooms with the acetate pages projected onto the whiteboard or the wall. Classes today can benefit from an interactive whiteboard instead. It was initially invented to be used for the office, but it's moved into modern classrooms to great advantage for teachers and for learners.
They enrich lessons and work to engage learners, and they work very well for that. They display videos, images, interactive worksheets and have the ability to involve the students in the lesson. This enables learners to be active in the classroom and help them to remain as engaged as possible — ensuring that they take responsibility for their education.
A smart typewriter is basically what it sounds like — a digital typewriter. It is effectively a keyboard attached to a word processor, allowing students to create and manipulate digital documents, while removing many of the temptations associated with a computer.
Unlike a computer or a tablet, a smart typewriter cannot be used to connect online (beyond saving files for external access), send messages or play games. This delivers a simple solution for teachers and removes many of the risks associated with introducing digital devices into the classroom.
The downside is that smart typewriters are a dedicated device, lacking the multi-faceted features of more general purpose electronics. But, portable smart typewriters address the issues that come with distractions in the classroom, allowing students to create and edit files that are then accessible to them on their computers at home.
Socrative was designed by entrepreneurs who were passionate about education. It's a system that enables teachers to invest in educational games that students can solve on smartphones and tablets.
This engages the students on a medium of their choice, while also allowing the teachers to see the result of their teaching in their students while personalising their lessons. Socrative is free to trial with limited features for 50 students.
ClassDojo is a digital tool that helps to improve student behaviour. Teachers can give their students feedback on behaviour and award points based on their classroom attitude. This can provide kids with a real-time boost in their confidence while they are in the classroom.
It also delivers communication tools for parents, allowing them to check in on their kids. Not only does this mean that learning technology can boost student self-esteem, it means that their parents will also see how well they are doing — closing the gap between parents and teachers to create a more interactive learning environment in which everyone wins. The product is free and easy to try.
One of the best educational platforms out there based on games and fun, Kahoot! allows teachers to create questionnaires and surveys to engage an enrich the students learning. The material is projected in the classroom and students can play and learn at the same time.
Kahoot delivers a free version and several subscription levels. This makes it easy for teachers to trial and integrate into their teaching strategies, upgrading when necessary and assessing the value of each aspect of the program.
With teachers, students and animators working together, TED-Ed delivers an educational platform that allows anyone who wants to learn to expand their knowledge and input good ideas. Active learning participation is essential, and both teachers and students can work together. It is free and worth exploring. There are hours of good ideas worth sharing within the Ted-Ed platform. Searching through them is almost as fun and educational as the lessons themselves.
Similar to a digital classroom, Edmodo is the “world's largest learning community”. A global network where students and parents can come together to get involved in education. Users can find and share teaching resources, including videos and articles. Groups can be set up with teachers, parents and students together sharing educational resources, quizzes and feedback on the learning progress happening elsewhere.
Edmodo is a fantastic tool to allow parents an inside look at their child's development and education. Edmodo has a free option, and then paid versions that allow teachers access to additional services and integration with an existing student information system.
Educational video tools don't come much better than Animoto. Students can create high-quality videos quickly with any mobile device, which means that they get another reason to remain engaged with improved academic results. Given that the interface is friendly and practical, teachers can create content that suits the lesson.
Animoto has a 14-day free trial, but then requires a subscription afterwards. Luckily, that subscription rate starts as low as £7.99 per month, putting it in reach of most budgets if it delivers a needed outcome.
Reading and writing are two of the most critical skills that can be learned in the classroom. With Storybird, teachers can create books that will change the way that learning happens. Created stories can be sent by email, printed in the classroom and embedded into blogs, which gives students more than one platform to enjoy them on. Teachers create projects with their students, too, which allows for feedback and organisation on this particular learning tool.