The school year is upon us. It’s quite literally the time for teachers, students, parents, school administrators, and everyone else to begin spending the vast majority of their day at a school. Whether it’s college, high school, middle school, or elementary levels, it’s school time. That means teachers need to be up to speed and ready to rock the classroom. In order to do that, we thought it’d be useful to know about the most popular teacher tools that we’re hearing about. We’ve assembled a list of the basic and popular tools that we’ve seen used in modern classrooms around the world. They may not be the most cutting-edge but, instead, you can rest assured that they’re tried and tested.
‘Battle-tested’ might be a more appropriate term.
In any case, these teacher tools are useful for a variety of reasons. Most save students and teachers time while some simply make it easier to connect with others. Whatever you’re looking for, make sure you know about these apps and web tools before stepping foot into the classroom. These tools can be used as part of your ‘teacher toolkit’ or ‘arsenal’ depending on how aggressive you view your teaching style.
Okay, this one is more than a single tool. It’s a suite of apps and tools in itself. From Google Drive to Hangouts, there are tools that let you collaborate, communicate, and share your knowledge with others. Because it’s so popular, we thought it belonged at the top of the list. It’s also the king of the mountain because it’s used by so many school and teachers worldwide!
The king of PLNing (is that a word?), Twitter is the go-to resource for millions of teachers around the world. While many are still unsure about setting up their profile or jumping in with both feet, Twitter continues to catch on with teachers young and more experienced alike. Look for this to continue over the coming year as Twitter rolls out new features we’re hearing about. Hint hint.
I’ve been using Skype in education for years now and it’s proven to be an effective way to collaborate and communicate with others around the world. It saves me a ton of money and lets me communicate with friends and colleagues in countries typically hard to reach. Look for the Skype in the Classroom to continue solid growth.
What can’t you find on YouTube? That is, of course, if it isn’t blocked in your school. In any case, it’s getting pretty easy to skirt the block if you use your judgement and simply use your smartphone (not wi-fi) or cell-powered iPad / Android tablet to connect to YouTube. With a cell connection and an HDMI cable you can hook up to your in-room projector with ease!
Evernote is valued to be worth more than the New York Times. There’s a reason for that. It’s crazy useful, saves time, and keeps your life organized. They’re adding in new features on a somewhat regular basis, but it’s the core functionality that keeps teachers (and students) coming back to keep their digital life and classroom in sync.
Like Evernote, Dropbox lets you keep your digital life in sync. Only it lets you do it the old-fashioned way. Dropbox makes it easy to store just about any file you can imagine in the proverbial ‘cloud’ by just using their freemium product. You get a folder on your desktop that you can drag stuff into. Then it’s in the cloud. That makes it so your files are accessible anywhere from smartphones to tablets to desktops. I use it every single day!
Edmodo is the go-to way for teachers to have an online classroom worth using. It lets students share resources, hold online discussions, get grades, and basically just learn together. It’s collaborative and simple to use. What more could you ask for?
The folks at Class Dojo know how to keep your class in line. They’ve gamified classroom behavior and you stand to benefit. They recently rolled out a few updates that let students, teachers, and even parents participate in the process. Worth trying if you’re looking to keep your classroom in line!
Coming out of nowhere, there has been a big push to get principals, teachers, parents, and even students to blog. There are services like edublogs that let you do that but many are now building their own WordPress-powered websites in an effort to establish themselves as having a bit more credibility. Plus, a self-hosted blog lets you have total control over your site. Worth trying if you haven’t!
Signing up more than 1,000 new users a day, Socrative is on fire. The popular engagement platform lets you easily get your students excited to raise their hand (digitally and physically). What more could a teacher ask for?!