Sunday, March 24, 2013

Seven Simple Tech Tips for Teachers

Looking for some practical ways to get more out of your classroom tech? Check out these seven tips for ideas on how to use technology to enhance your students’ learning:

  1. Take a virtual field trip – You may not be able to take your students to the Louvre in person, but you can use the web to find photos, videos, articles, and guides that let them go there virtually. Use this virtual field trip idea to connect your students to literature, art, history, science, current events, and more without ever leaving the classroom. 
    • Classroom Application Tools
      • Virtual Fieldtrip List - click here
      • Simply K12 Virtual Fieldtrip List - click here
      • The Teacher's Guide Virtual Fieldtrip List - click here 
  2. Let everyone answer – Get a feel for how well students understand a concept by using electronic response devices. This handheld technology allows students to answer questions in real time. You can then display the class’s responses (individual student answers are not shown) and talk about topics that may need additional clarification. This is a great alternative to raised hands since it allows all students to participate and engage with the discussion directly. 
    • Classroom Application Tools
      • Poll Everywhere - use cell phone to collect responses - click here
      • Socrative - use any device that has internet or the iOS/Android app to collect responses - click here
      • ActivExpressions - voting responses for Promethean users   
  3. Collaborate with the class – If you have set up a classroom LMS now’s the time to start. Learning Managing Systems allow students to get involved in the curriculum by sharing ideas and collaborating with each other. You can use these for a number of projects including group reports, stories, discussions, debates, questions, and more, or you can use them simply as a way to help the class interact and learn together by allowing students free expression. 
    • Classroom Application Tools
      • Edmodo - click here
      • Schoology - click here
      • Google Drive - click here
  4. Brainstorm with the right tools – There are a number of excellent brainstorming and mind mapping tools out there— is a free one—that can help you and your students draw out your ideas in a usable way. These tools can be used when planning art projects, mapping math concepts, and more. 
    • Classroom Application Tools
      • Padlet - click here
      • WiseMapping - click here
  5. Keep up to date on new apps – New and amazing educational apps are being released every day. Be sure to keep up to date on the latest and greatest apps that you can use in the classroom. When you see something that you think would work well, don’t be afraid to try it out. 
    • Classroom Application Tools
      • TCEA iPad Apps and Resources - click here
      • Learning in Hand blog by Tony Vincent - iOS resources - click here
  6. Educate yourself – One of the most useful ways you can use technology is to keep yourself up to date on the latest developments in the education field—what are other teachers doing? What resources are out there to help you help your students learn? What should you do when you run into problems? Read blogs (like Edudemic) and get active on social media (Twitter is a great place to connect to other educators) to find ideas, advice, encouragement, tools, and more. 
    • Classroom Application Tools
      • Learning in Hand blog - click here
      • Free Technology for Teachers - click here
      • Ozge Karaoglu's blog - click here
  7. Get organized – Once you start finding all these great resources, it’s important that you keep yourself organized so that you don’t lose track of them. Use bookmarking sites to keep track of websites that you like. Create spreadsheets to help you remember what that awesome idea for next week’s class was.
    • Classroom Application Tools
      • Diigo - Educator accounts available to teachers - click here to learn more
      • Delicious - click here to learn more
      • Evernote - click here to learn more
About the Author:
This article was written by Brian Jensen, who works with Dell, along with additional application tools added by myself.

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