Sunday, April 6, 2014

5 Great Tech Tools to Use with Students

Tired of the same old technology in your classroom? Need new ideas? There are a million of technology tools to use with students but let's look at five tools that you can start using today to engage your students. These tools are simplistic in nature and anyone can learn to use them, not just the tech savvy teacher.

1.  Kahoot!
  • What is Kahoot?
    • Kahoot is a game-based classroom response system. Engage the room by projecting the quiz onto the screen at the front. Without needing an account, everyone joins through their device and will see their name appear on the screen. Users answer questions in real time while playing against each other aiming to be at the top of the leaderboard.
  • Educational Applications
    • Teachers can create a quiz or a discussion/survey to gather opinions or facilitate debate.
    • Use the public Kahoot menu to search for Kahoots made by others.
    • Kahoot is an online platform so it supports any device with a Web browser.
    • Click here for Kahoot Tutorials. 
2.  Padlet
  • What is Padlet?
    • Padlet is paper for the web, online cork board, or a virtual board. Padlet is an online platform that requires no software download and users only need a Web browser to access.
  • Educational Applications
    • Teachers create a wall and from there the options are:
      • make wall private and only those with the link can access
      • users double click the wall to add a "sticky note"
      • instant refresh needed...all activity posts to the wall
      • set permissions for users...view/write/moderate posts
      • add multimedia...links to YouTube videos, MS Word Documents, PDF files, etc
      • customize layout...freeform or organized stream
      • customize backgrounds
      • embed the wall on blogs or websites
    • Great for class collaboration, brainstorming, group notetaking/questioning/research, exit ticket and much more...the possibilities are endless.
    • Students can participate using any device that has internet (iPad, iPhone, Android phones or tablets, laptops, computers, eReaders that have internet access)
3.  Tackk
  • What is Tackk?
    • Tackk is a free website maker that allows anyone to create anything, quickly publish and share that one simple page anywhere. 
  • Educational Applications
    • Types of Tackks to create: blank canvas, class assignment, event, blog post, announcement and many more.
    • Items that can be added to Tackks: headline, text, photo, video, audio, button (hyperlink to sites), map, and more.
    • Customize Tackk background styles/colors, font type and color, security (make private or public), title, etc.
    • Share your Tackk via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, Email, Embed, or Print PDF.
    • Great for class projects, group projects, blogs, online projects...try something other than PowerPoints or Word Documents for projects. 
    • NOTE: Without creating an account any Tackk created will expire in 7 days.
4.  BitStrips
  • What is BitStrips?
    • Bitstrips is the online funny pages. Turn yourself into a cartoon character and create your own comic strips.
  • Educational Applications
    • Create comic strips as digital stories.
    • Review news by recreating the story as a comic strip.
    • Note: Best works when users create an account.
5.  ThingLink
  • What is ThingLink?
    • Upload an image. Tag images with web content. Make your images come alive with music, video, and text. Every image contains a story and ThingLink helps you tell your stories. Follow image channels from your favorite bloggers and friends. 
  • Educational Applications:
    • Teachers can use ThingLink to provide students with differentiated learning experiences that support unique learning styles through the use of multimedia.
    • ThinkLink is a flexible digital toolkit for helping teachers design learning experiences that leverage the power of technology to transform learning.
    • Create Interactive Albums with ThingLink Channels
    • Student signup: Teachers can now register new students on their behalf.  The students do not need to have a working email address, yet they all will receive an individual user account.
    • Automatic group creation on Teacher sign-up: Teachers will automatically get one group to which they can add students by listing their names.
    • Safe browsing environment: If the logged-in user is assigned student status, they can only see images created by other people with student status, teacher status, or images specifically curated by Thinglink Staff.  This affects search, streams, hashtags, and channels.
    • Students can participate using any device that has internet (iPad, iPhone, Android phones or tablets, laptops, computers, eReaders that have internet access)
    • Reference guide on what content can be added to images. Click here.

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