S'Cool Tools of the Week: Math is Fun, Zing, Envoy, GoGuardian for Teachers

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!

Free! Math is Fun--One barrier to getting kids into math is the vocabulary. If students miss a teacher’s explanation of a word, the whole concept goes poof. Math is Fun is a dictionary of math terms with visual explanations of the concepts behind them. Math is Fun’s dictionary is part of a larger network of math resources that includes sample problems, games and guides to different areas of math. The tool is appropriate for students of all ages and collects no data.

Freemium: Zing--Zing is a web-based library of free ebooks and audiobooks in English and Spanish. Teachers can build a library, search by lexile level or other metrics and give reading assessments. A paid account upgrade ($10 per year) allows teachers to assign books, annotate the text and receive data reports. Privacy flag: teachers must create an account to use Zing, though students need not. Teachers enter student data including student ID, first name, last name, and demographic information. Zing owner Schoolwide says that it does not market directly to students but does use the information to market to teachers.

Freemium: Envoy--Is the classic front desk sign-in setup with a clipboard, notebook paper and pencil enough for this digital 21st century? Envoy offers a visitor sign-in app for iPad and accompanying notification software. The free version includes unlimited sign-ins. The software can notify administrators of who’s signed in (pre-registered or unwanted), create badges for them and ask them to sign agreements before entering.

Price On Request: Want to learn what each of your students has been doing on their Chromebooks? Check out GoGuardian for Teachers. Teachers can control almost every aspect of student web browsing, including darkening screens for “attention mode.” Privacy flag: GoGuardian will work with teachers and administrators to control and even delete sensitive information about students. Students’ browsing and computer activities are logged as they interact with GoGuardian.

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