S'Cool Tools of the Week: MathApps, Seesaw, Staffrm, BirdBrain Science

column | S'Cool Tools

S'Cool Tools of the Week: MathApps, Seesaw, Staffrm, BirdBrain Science

Feb 8, 2015

TOO COOL (PERFECT FOR SCHOOL): We've got our favorite edtech teacher and administrator tools for the week right here, as highlighted in our Instruct newsletter. By the way--got a favorite S’Cool Tool you like to use? We would love to hear and share your recommendations! If you’ve got a tool that makes you or your students sing from the proverbial mountaintops, fill out this form to let us know. It might just get featured!

Our tools of the week are:

Free! Finding great mobile math apps might seem as challenging as finding a pattern between primes. But MathApps is working on the answer. Under development at Kent State University, the site uses reviews and ratings from educators to provide “objective and scholarly reviews” on math apps. So far, 47 reviews are available. (While MathApps is free, many of the tools reviewed on the site are not.)

Free! Getting young students to reflect on what they’ve learned can be tough. Seesaw enables students as young as five can document their learning by creating a journal on their iOS device and recording their entries in many forms--text, voice recordings, photo, video, and drawings. Created by the folks who created a video recording program for kids called ShadowPuppet that won rave reviews from librarians and other educators. Seesaw is available for iPad, iPhone, and on the web.

Free! Are you a member of the Twitterati? A whiz at Wordpress? If you’re looking for a new tool for PD, check out Staffrm. Staffrm functions like a mix of Medium and Twitter--a blogging and social network, if you will. The site, created by a UK-based educator, allows users to share stories and get involved in conversations with other educators from around the world.

Free! Do you long for science articles that your students can readily understand? That was a problem for teacher Brendan Finch--until he created BirdBrain Science. The site offers more than 200 science articles written for 3rd-8th grade reading levels. Typically, BirdBrain runs teachers $4 per student per year, but EdSurge’s got a special deal--try BirdBrain out for the rest of the year for free!

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