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! Note: If we have not appended a privacy flag to a tool’s description, it does not collect personally identifiable information.
Free!—Lab 4 Physics—Turn your smartphone into a sensor for physics experiments. The app uses the accelerometers, gyroscopes and magnetometers built into smartphones to measure, graph and analyze physical properties and their changes. Students and teachers can export the data. A mere phone becomes a piece of equipment for basic physics labs. Privacy flag: Lab 4 Physics may collect personally identifiable information, though it is possible to use the app anonymously with some functions inhibited. Lab 4 Physics does not share information with third parties without user permission.
Free!—Penpal Schools—Bonjour mes amis! Directed correspondence between students from different countries via a computer or mobile app, usually conducted over six weeks. Each student is matched with a penpal and given standards-aligned topics to write to their pal about. Students on Penpal from another country will respond. Teachers can choose from umbrella topics such as “World Explorer,” “World News” and “Decision 2016” and can review and grade students’ work. Privacy flag: Students are not required to supply personal information beyond first names, though the service does collect personal information from teachers. If students do provide personal information, Penpal Schools claims no responsibility for keeping it confidential and may share it with third-party advertisers.
Free!—PBS World Explorers—A collection of short videos on the world’s most famous explorers’ voyages, achievements, failures and historical significance. Learn about ancient explorers such as Leif Ericson or Amerigo Vespucci, unknown explorers such as Zheng He, or modern explorers like Neil Armstrong. PBS has tagged the videos with the appropriate grade levels and included how the content aligns with national standards. Teachers can stream, download, share and modify the videos.
License—My Student Survey—Surveys that measure different aspects of schools and teacher and administrator performance. My School Survey offers surveys and research on teacher roles, school climate, parental considerations and staff cohesion. The company synthesizes the results into feedback reports. Surveys can be taken online, on mobile and on paper. The company will work with users to plan, create, communicate, administer, interpret and act on the survey and its results. If you’d like to know how it works, My Student Survey is hosting a webinar explaining its mobile application January 28. Privacy flag: My Student Survey’s clients can choose for students to take the surveys as anonymous users. In regards to teacher and administrator privacy, My Student Survey also works with districts to operate in accordance with their personnel privacy mandates.