The Top S'Cool Tools for Q1, 2014

The Top S'Cool Tools for Q1, 2014

April? Already? As we round out the first quarter of the year, we take the time to reflect on popular edtech tools we’ve seen over the past three months. Every week, EdSurge sends out an educator-specific INSTRUCT newsletter (sign up here) containing a section called “S’Cool Tools,” where we showcase 3-5 edtech tools that have tickled our fancy.

Out of 60+ S’Cool Tools, ten products from Q1 have risen to the top based on the number of clicks they’ve received from our INSTRUCT readers. Check them out below! (And educators, if you've got some cool tools you haven't seen yet in the newsletter or on our site, let us know!)

10. Fluencia - Freemium: Fluencia is a language learning tool for conversational Spanish. Built by the creators of Spanishdict.com, the virtual tutoring solution boosts retention using the spaced repetition model. The web-based tool currently boasts 100,000 learners working through an impressive 30 million questions. In aggregate, the software maps to approximately two years of K-12 Spanish curriculum, and there's also full college curriculum currently in development. All you need to pay is $15/student/month (though Fluencia has some freemium offers).

9. Function Carnival - Free! Desmos is up to more math goodness with the recent addition of Function Carnival, developed in collaboration with Dan Meyer and Christopher Danielson. Function Carnival helps students get a handle on confusing graphs lessons and helps them experiment to resolve misunderstandings. Through video, graphing, and replaying graphs as animations students can begin to construct their own understanding of what these graphs really mean.

8. ClipConverter - Free! Flipping it, blending it, or just using video in class? Sometimes you need a tool to easily convert a Youtube video to a file you can use offline. ClipConverter makes that process easy with a a free online media conversion app allowing you to record, convert and download nearly any audio or video URL to common formats.

7. TeachIt Timer - Free! Forget other classroom timers you’ve used. TeachIt Timer is free, simple, and has something that many other timers don’t: it shows time elapsed and time remaining. This tool’s been making the rounds on edublogs (FreeTechforTeachers and Edutech4Teachers, to name a few), so we’d say it’s gotten the teacher stamp of approval.

6. Sumdog - Free! Sumdog is a free site with math games where students can play each other, or play other students from across the globe. Extra bonus goodies: create free student logins, monitor your students’ live performances and run progress reports for parents. Shout-out to Technology Specialist Elisabeth Flottman and LA’s KIPP Empower Academy for tossing us this “math bone”.

5. Pixiclip - Free! True to its “message in motion” slogan, Pixiclip puts creating and recording at your fingertips with a web app. Sketch a diagram, add your voice or video commentary and flip that lesson! Even better, get students showing what they know by sharing those Pixiclips with each other.

4. GoNoodle - Free! Need some short videos to get kids back on track for learning? GoNoodle has “brain breaks”--short videos that help get kids moving, calm themselves or whatever it takes to get them back to a ready state of learning. Sample activities include jogging in place with “Run with Us” and breathing exercises with “Airtime.”

3. EduCanon - Free! Not all existing video content is ready for the flipped classroom model, but that’s where eduCanon comes in. eduCanon lets you take any video content from YouTube, Vimeo, or TeacherTube and transform it into an interactive experience by embedding questions that students engage with as the video progresses. Still curious? These eduCanon users give their two cents on the product.

2. Eduvee - Free! Eduvee is a personalized learning platform covering Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. Attempting to address the frustration students feel when working through online study materials, it atomizes content -- both OER and publisher-created -- into manageable chunks of interactive learning that students can more easily navigate. Over time, Eduvee provides students a more personalized experience, presenting those content and media formats that have produced the best results on previous assessments. Used by 16,000 students to-date, the cost is free with premium features to come.

And in the number #1 spot...

1. Visme - Free! Bring those lesson plan ideas to life with visuals--without having to code! Formerly known as Easy Web Content Presenter, Visme makes it easy to design powerful animations, infographics, graphs, presentations and other visual creations in a simple interface. (We’re talking utility, not fluff.) Start from scratch, or use one of Visme’s pre-generated presentation templates. Visme is also browser-agnostic--presentations can be both created and viewed from any browser.

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