Going Back to School With the 2016 EdSurge Fifty States Project

Going Back to School With the 2016 EdSurge Fifty States Project

EdSurge Guide

Hover over a state to see an article written by an author from that state

Educators, we know you're getting ready to go back to school—or potentially have already started. But what if you need support? Have a question about technology, or how to integrate it?

To help you out with tips and tricks from educators who've been there, we give you the Fifty States Project: Back-to-School Edition—an EdSurge initiative to publish articles by educators in each of the 50 states and U.S. territories over the course of a year, showcasing educators and their stories of supporting learning by using technology. During 2016, we collected stories written by educators--teachers, edtech coordinators, librarians, superintendents and others--from all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. In this guide, you'll see articles throughout the year organized into four categories:

  • How-To’s from Inside the Classroom: Step-by-step guides on everything from social-emotional learning to classroom management strategies in a tech-rich environment.
  • Making Data Work: Data, privacy, assessments--you’ve heard all about it. How are educators collecting and using data to tailor and improve instruction and practices?
  • Educators Know Professional Development: Strategies for revamping PD, from addressing individual needs to addressing statewide professional development programs.
  • What Educators Want from Digital Tools: Educators give their honest opinions--what are they looking for from digital tools? Have they or their schools somehow added their own flare to existing tools?

This guide includes includes a powerful list: 2016 Popular Edtech Tools From Coast to Coast—the 15 standout tools repeatedly mentioned by Fifty States writers.

If you'd rather meet these writers and ask for advice more directly, join us on Tuesday, September 6 at 5 pm PST, when many of these education thought leaders will be available to chat via Twitter for a very special #Edsurgechat, the Fifty States edition. We’ll all share more hopes and strategies for the new year, and widen our personal learning networks.

Keep on fighting the good fight!

How-To’s from Inside the Classroom

Yes, we saw tool diversity! When we tallied up the number of edtech tools mentioned throughout these 52 pieces, we uncovered a total of 85 distinct tools. A few stood out. Here are the most frequently mentioned tools--along with the stories that describe their use.

The following tools got mentioned three or more times.

Product Description Price Who wrote about this tool?
Google Apps for EDU
A collection of free Google tools, apps and collaboration services for K-12 and higher-ed
Free ConnecticutMassachusettsMarylandMissouriNew Jersey
Padlet Collaborative virtual sticky note app where users can post video, images, links and more Free DelawareIndianaMaine, Missouri
Popular networking and microblogging platform Free Kansas, MassachusettsNebraskaTennessee
Portfolio for documenting student work & sharing with parents and teachers
Free / License DelawareIndianaNevada
Video customization for classroom lessons
Free District of Columbia, MarylandVirginia
iMovie for Mac
Video creation Free California, MarylandNebraska

The following tools got mentioned twice.

Product Description Price Who wrote about this tool?
Popular indie sandbox video game focused on creativity and building in a 3D world
License AlaskaWest Virginia
Voxer App where users can send text, photos, and instant voice messages to individuals and groups Free GeorgiaNebraska
Today's Meet
Private classroom chat rooms, controlled by teachers
Free MassachusettsMissouri
Cloud-based LMS for K-12 schools integrates global teacher collaboration tools and more License MississippiTexas
Learning management system License IdahoTexas
Students write and teachers can moderate posts and comments in a secure community Free IndianaMissouri
Open source learning management system designed to be compatible with any classroom environment License AlabamaTexas
Service for teachers to send text messages to mobile phones of students and parents Free MissouriSouth Dakota
Time For Kids iPad app connecting assessments and activities with TfK's real world news coverage License New MexicoNew York

This project was funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.