Ms. Hayes’ Favorite Tools
Make sure you are using technology authentically, and not as a thousand dollar pencil! Watch the student-created video below to become familiar with the SAMR Model, which is like Blooms Taxonomy for technology. To learn more, check out my SAMR EdTech Series!
Here is a list of free(ish) websites that have alleviated some of the stress of the classroom by improving my strategies and enhancing student engagement.
- Edublogs – a WordPress affiliate, this is a great site for creating class blogs or websites that students and parents can access without needing a username or password, but individual pages can be password protected to protect student identities. Originally, this website was created using Edublogs. I have since moved to WordPress.com in order to unlock new features, but if you haven’t blogged before I suggest Edublogs.
- Remind – allows you to send a mass email/text to students and parents without revealing your personal phone number to them.
- Bitly – URL shortener that allows you to login and track the number of clicks on each link. Make an account to keep track of your links and to see if your students are actually clicking on them. You can also create bundles of links, which you can share with your students as well.
- Padlet – like a digital chart paper where students can add posts (digital sticky notes) about a specific topic. – You can save the final board as a PDF and make access easier for students with a QR Code. Create an account to keep all of your Padlets in one place, edit Padlet responses, and to create an easy to remember domain name.
- Socrative – turns students’ phones, tablets, computers into clickers. Can be used as a form of assessment, exit ticket, bell-ringer, attendance, review, etc. – The user-friendly data presentation makes it easy to use data to drive your instruction!
- Edmodo – a social learning platform allows teachers to create large and small groups for individual classes and groups of students. Use a live feed and direct messaging to communicate with students, and use the resources option to easily share folders and files with students.
- My Big Campus – while this tool isn’t free for districts to use, it is like a combination of Facebook and Blackboard. It is similar to Edmodo, but with many more features such as discussion boards, easy-to-make assessments, wiki pages, private messaging, blogs, individual profiles, a live chat, and a calendar. I know that teachers can get stand-alone accounts if their district doesn’t use LightSpeed Systems for their network management, but I don’t know the details.
- BlendSpace – allows you to create a quick, interactive slide show/platform to teach and assess students quickly and easily.
- Kahoot – a quick and easy way to assess student knowledge using phones or iPads as clickers. Students love the competitive, game-like nature of this tool!
- Animoto – A site where students can make short videos of music, text, and images – Animoto gives you the theme, and you just plug in the information. Check out my post on Animoto for a sample video, a tutorial, lesson ideas, and directions on getting a free educators account.
- Tellagami – An app that allows students to take on another perspective through an avatar and create a short video. Pairs well with ChatterPix and movie editing software.
- ChatterPix – An app that allows students to add speech to pictures in a video – bonus: the pictures “mouths” will move! Pairs well with Tellagami and movie editing software.
Ms. Hayes’ Wish List
These are some tools that I’ve heard about in professional development or staff meetings, but I haven’t implemented them in my classroom yet.
- TodaysMeet – provides a twitter-like backchannel for students to use during a lecture or activity. Project it up on the board and refer to it during the lesson.
- ThingLink – allows students to create web pages with links and descriptions to other content.
- PowToon – allows students to make free animated videos
- NearPod – allows teachers to make ppt presentations that also tie in Socrative like questions, opportunities to draw or write answers, etc. controls student device!
- Schoology – like MyBigCampus, but FREE!
- Turnitin – automatically checks for plagiarism before the students turn their papers in, which will allow them to self-regulate their assignments.
- Grammarly – finds and corrects mistakes in papers, also checks for plagiarism.
- Free Books 23,469 Classics to Go – exactly what it sounds like – an app with 23,469 free classics
- ClassFlow – A Promethean product that allows teachers to create web-based lessons with images, YouTube videos, web pages, Word documents, and PowerPoint presentations. The best part is that students can use tablets or computers to respond to questions or view the slides directly on their devices. Teachers can also take control of student devices with the “pause” button.
- PollEverywhere – Anonymous polling for students (or anyone) to respond to questions from their own devices. Best part: it automatically takes the answers and sorts them into a word cloud, text wall, cluster, or ticker. This is also compatible with ActiveInspire! Read about how I plan to use PollEverywhere in my classroom or check out this site for practical classroom applications.
- EDpuzzle – A great tool for flipped classrooms! Assign a video to students, and have questions, quizzes, assignments, etc attached to the video. Very similar to eduCanon, but it doesn’t make you upgrade for certain features. Learn more about making flipped videos with EDpuzzle here!
- lino – Very similar to Padlet, but students can edit their responses without needing to login.
- Aurasma – Augment your students’ reality by creating 4D, interactive, educational media.