What tools are educators most excited to use this school year? Teachers, administrators and more tuned in to #edtechchat on Monday, August 11 to share their top edtech picks and strategies for the new school year. Check out ten of the most popular picks below, and if you’re an edtech newbie, join #edtechchat on Twitter at 5pm PST on Mondays for some quick info and to meet other educators using tech in the classroom!
Google Classroom - Lots of educators are excited for the new tools offered soon by Google Classroom, which officially debuted on August 12. The tool will streamline the assignment process by enabling teachers to create, organize and manage assignments online using Google Drive. Get it here for free!
LittleBits - Librarian Diana Rendina and fifth grade teacher Craig Yen are excited to implement littleBits, which offers hardware--from simple to complex--that enables students of any ability and background to make electronic prototypes. Make a DIY Etch-a-Sketch using the Arduino Starter Bundle or show off your skills and create a Mars Rover using the Space Kit. The base kit is $99, and prices go up from there.
EDpuzzle - This tool, which offers video customization for lessons, will make it into the science classroom of high school educator James Logue for the 2014-2015 school year. Teachers using EDpuzzle can integrate voiceovers and quizzes into video content, and remix existing videos to customize the needs of their classroom. And it’s free!
Drawp - Elementary school art teacher Amy Traggianese is eager to implement Drawp, which enables students to create and share drawings with a trusted network, allowing teachers to send student creations to parents with ease. Get it free here!
Diigo - Using Diigo, educators can bookmark websites, highlight and attach sticky notes directly onto the page, and share them with others. Math teacher Lindsey Murphy explained that she’ll use it to “share resources with other teachers and create inquiry based lessons for students.” Try the free tool here!
Easel.ly - K-8 media specialist K Sparks Fusco is looking forward to creating infographics using easel.ly this year. By providing a variety of templates and tools, easel.ly helps users create infographics and present information. Free!
Lynda.com - This online compendium of videos offers instruction in 2,833 video courses and counting, in subjects from Acoustics to Web Graphics. As IT specialist (and Digital Innovation in Learning Awards judge!) Rafranz Davis put it on #edtechchat, Lynda can help enable “teachers and students to learn what they want when they want.” A basic subscription costs $25 per month.
BrightLoop - Teacher Mitch Mosbey is excited to bring BrightLoop into his first grade classroom this year. BrightLoop helps educators track the interactions and progress of individual learners, as teachers can collect student insights, build student timelines, and create reports to communicate with families. Try the free or premium versions here!
Edmodo - Tech integration specialist Eva Harvell will communicate with parents and students using Edmodo this year. Using the Edmodo social network, teachers can share assignments and grades, host discussions, post videos, and create polls. Free!
Plickers - Using this tool, educators like James Logue can poll students, even when classrooms are limited to one tech device. After students respond by raising a physical card, teachers can use one mobile camera or webcam to record the responses, which Plickers compiles onto a teacher dashboard. Try the free or premium version in your classroom!