10 Ed-Tech Tools to Try in 2020
The best digital tools for the classroom spice up the experience and increase student engagement all while keeping things simple, straightforward, and user-friendly. As teachers in a 21st-century learning environment, we understand how important technology is to our students. I don’t think technology is the end-all-be-all, and of course, it brings new problems into our lives, but just watching the creativity behind these tools makes me so excited to live in a time when so many ordinary people can actually bring their ideas to life and watch those ideas impact the world. Using educational technology in teaching methods is imperative for students’ future success.
We’ve tested tons of ed-tech tools to help you figure out which ones are worth using and which ones should be avoided. Listed below are the most popular ed-tech tools you can incorporate into your classroom setting.
Flipgrid is the most talked-about tech tool of the past year. It’s an app where someone, usually a teacher, poses a question or prompt, and students respond to it with short videos. Once they’ve finished their video, they can leave responses to other students’ videos.
This tool would be a great way to get students talking about any topic, reflect on a book or film, or ask questions about something you’re exploring in class.
At a time when we are all getting less and less comfortable with face-to-face communication, preferring instead to talk through text, Flipgrid gives us a way to bring our real voices, our actual faces, our true, less-edited selves back into play.
2. Book Creator
Book Creator is a beautiful, flexible tool that allows students of any age or skill level to create, publish, and share online books.
Creating books using this tool can be as simple or complex as you make it. Students who prefer more structure can choose a comic book layout and insert Google images straight from the app into locked panels. Those who want more flexibility can choose a completely blank page and upload their own artwork. Students can customize the font, add shapes and stickers, hyperlink the text to other online resources, and import audio and video files.
When the book is ready to be published, the pages turn like a real book, and the audio and video play right inside the app. This tool would also be wonderful for teacher use. You can create books and place them into either a private library—just for you—or create a public library that your students can join by using a code. Within the shared library, anyone can create books to be shared among the other members.
3. Insert Learning
With this tool, you can basically take any page on the Internet and turn it into a lesson. Suppose you find a great article from The Guardian that you’d like students to read, but you’d also like to ask them a few questions about it, add a bit of commentary of your own, and insert a related video. With InsertLearning, you can do all of that right on the article.
InsertLearning, formerly called DocentEDU, is an extension you add to your Chrome browser. Once it’s there, turning any web page into a lesson can be done in minutes. You start with a web page of any kind, then highlight text, add notes, and embed your own questions—either multiple-choice or open-ended—that students answer right on the page. You can also embed other content like YouTube videos, ThingLink images, flashcards from Quizlet, mind maps from Coggle, even videos you record straight from your webcam.
4. Google for Education
Google for Education provides products and digital tools that foster digital literacy in teachers and students. Through these tools and apps, teachers can distribute information and materials, post quizzes and other written evaluation documents, and provide real-time feedback on students’ work—all paperless and easy. Google for Education and Google Suite are designed for easy use with cost-effective Google Chromebooks, America’s #1 device for 1-to-1 use in the classroom. Chromebooks arrive with G Suite already included.
Communication between students, teachers, and parents is essential for academic success. With Remind, teachers can text messages to students and parents for easy reminders, questions, and last-minute updates. And you don’t need phone numbers to send messages to students and parents, so no one feels as if they’re sharing personal information. Aside from schedule changes and updates, Remind provides easy, one-to-one, teacher-student communication for struggling kids – some of whom might not be comfortable verbalizing their questions.
This learning management system is extremely useful for educators and administrators. The software helps create better rosters, more efficient schedules, smarter curriculums and calendars as well as tracking student progress and interaction.
Seesaw is a student-driven digital portfolio. It makes it simple to get student work in one place and share it with parents. It is free for teachers, students and families although the SeeSaw for Schools package is amazing for a small fee per student and adds a lot of power and analytical functions to my favourite tool.
Schools must register to use this tool, however, it’s worth encouraging them to do so. With Clever, students will be able to access all of their educational apps in one place. Teachers may use different tools in their various classes. It’s a smart way for students to remain organized for increased productivity and focus.
Often students need input from people outside of their own group to move projects along. Socrative allows students to distribute multiple ideas and quizzes via iPhone to collect class-wide results. This way project members can gather input about milestones and ideas mid-project. Halfway point evaluations help students fix errors or narrow ideas before it’s time for project management and final presentations.
This online study platform is an effective process for anyone that’s learning. Users create online flashcards and study guides, making it easier than ever before to begin studying effectively. No more buying and writing your own cards or guides. Encourage students to use Studyblue to study better and more efficiently. This is one of the top tools for students who need to be more organized when working on their assignments and even for writers from studyclerk.
There will never be a point where education technology renders teachers obsolete. On the contrary, human interaction in the learning process is more important and more complex than ever before. Teachers must learn new technologies and advance their own educations so that they can help guide their students through these new waters.