Technology is changing the way educators organize and teach in their classrooms. Whether they like it or not, to fully engage their students, teachers must now integrate technology into their lessons.
There are hundreds of tools out there that can aid educators in expanding their teaching methods. Finding the one that will work best for YOU can be overwhelming. Here are six key areas where Ed Tech is most able to increase your students’ success and help save your valuable time.
1) Create better models and visual representations.
Integrate graphic creation tools to better communicate information to your students. Replace slides and PowerPoint presentations with more interactive and visually pleasing videos, graphs, maps and more. Students today get their information in a variety of mediums. Use the resources that technology offers to better engage and teach your classes.
2) Obtain more efficient feedback and create better communication.
New technological tools can help educators create more efficient and more effective quizzes, tests and collaboration methods. Students can answer questions via multiple devices and teachers can easily monitor how long they take on a problem, their progress and their active engagement.
3) Better assist special needs students in learning.
Technology is creating tools that help everyone. Special needs students may have limitations that keep them from reaching their full potential but creative use of technology can help them overcome many of those obstacles.
4) Use social media to better collaborate and discuss lessons and progress.
Social media is a huge part of students’ everyday lives. So it’s no surprise that the education process is beginning to integrate its methods with similar platforms. There are various resources to help teachers more effectively share and receive information. These tools can help educators more effectively gain students' focus and attention.
5) Increase your productivity and efficiency as an educator.
Productivity tools are abundant in technology today, and many of them are catered towards the educational process. Resources online can help teachers schedule and create their curriculums. Others offer features like plagiarism checks and real-time proofreading. What used to take a teacher 3 hours may now take only 30 minutes, making it easier to manage time than ever before.
6) Find better storytelling methods and multimedia content.
Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of communication. It keeps our history alive and makes our cultures unique. It’s one of the most basic tools an educator needs to use to reach her students at an emotional level. Technology offers many options from YouTube channels and infographic sources to interactive slideshows and digital games.
Below is a list of some of our favorite ed tech tools.
ProWritingAid – Ok, I know that I'm guest posting on the prowritingaid blog, but this free online editing app really is a great option for both students and educators. It goes way beyond your usual spelling and grammar-checker to assess papers for things like passive voice, overly complicated sentences and clichés (20 writing reports in total). Teachers can use the paid edition ($35/year) for interactive editing and plagiarism checks. It’s a great way to help your students improve their writing and to save you time.
Saundz – For teachers dealing with different languages, speech or pathology, the Saundz resource can be an essential classroom tool. Students can use the tool to practice their pronunciation in an interactive and effective way. The tool also has mobile options and a blog full of useful information.
Schoology – 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.
Clever – 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.
Kahoot! – This tool is an interactive way for educators to create multiple choice lessons and tests. Users can create questions and obtain answers via various digital forms. These quizzes (called Kahoots) will help teachers make the learning process more fun and engaging by creating a game-like experience.
Desmos – Desmos is an online calculator that reaches far beyond the typical handheld machines. It will graph any function, perform regressions and even plot whole data tables. It’s free to use on any computer or device and even allows collaboration and sharing of all information.
Crash Course – Crash Course is a YouTube channel started by John Greene (author of “The Fault In Our Stars”) and is a great way to change up your lesson plans with better visuals and storytelling methods. The short videos are zany, fun and informative and will actively engage students to help them better retain information.
Plotly – Teachers and students can create and share graphs with this web-based learning platform. Plot.ly allows its users to create intelligent and complex visual data representations, while keeping them user-friendly and valuable in a classroom setting. Students can use the tool for assignments and teachers should use it to better connect and communicate lessons to their students.
Studyblue – 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.
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.
Using educational technology in teaching methods is imperative for students' future success. Ask questions and assess your own weaknesses. And although it can seem overwhelming at first, these technologies can make a huge difference to the efficient use of your time and the effectiveness of your teaching.