Saturday, September 13, 2014

Top EdTech Tools

(Day 12 of the Teach Thought blogging challenge: Name the top edtech tools that you use on a consistent basis in the classroom, and rank them in terms of their perceived (by you) effectiveness.)

There are so many great edtech tools available to teachers and students, and I enjoy learning what's out there and figuring out what will work in my classroom. It was hard to narrow them down, but these are my top tools. 

The website is not the tool here, but it's the blogging itself. There are other great blogging platforms students can use to publish their work and connect with learners around the globe. I've chosen KidBlog because I like how I can change the setting to have posts emailed to me for approval before they are published. All comments people make on a post are sent to me for approval before they are visible on a students blog. The format is also a good match for my second graders. Blogging is my favorite edtech tool because it allows my students to reflect on their learning in an interesting way. They know children and adults from around the globe can read their posts so this motivates them to use their best thinking and writing. It also teaches them to give positive, valuable feedback to their peers.

2. Twitter
My student always ask, "Can we tweet that?" Along with blogging, they're excited to share their learning with others on Twitter. I love Twitter because students take their learning global, which is helpful when training them to compete in a global society. Students learn netiquette, digital citizenship, and media literacy. They make a digital footprint on both Twitter and their personal blog. Not only are we connected with learners from around the globe, but several parents follow us too. They enjoy getting a glimpse into our school day. Sometimes they even send the class a tweet with a link to a website or educational video we might enjoy. Other times, they give us positive feedback on a tweet. 

3. Remind
I learned more about Remind at ISTE this summer as well as from awesome educators who use it themselves, like Erin Klein. Check out her blog here all about Remind and it's value. This will be my first year using Remind, but I'm so excited about it. I love the fact that you can schedule your messages ahead of time. Whether it's a message about an upcoming field trip or class picture day, you can easily share this information with all your parents at once. If you're not using Remind yet, please read Erin's post. She explains how to get parents signed up and has also included a video chat with Remind's founder about its newest features. 

There are so many great edtech tools available, but these are my favorites right now. They are effective and both parents and students enjoy them. Which edtech tools do you find the most effective in your classroom?