At some point in education, you will hear some variation of the phrase “teachers beg, borrow, and steal.” I am no different from your average educator, I grab anything that might useful. This page is dedicated to tools and resources I have found helpful.
Canvas– This website is dedicated to creating online classrooms. Canvas allows the user to upload assignments, resources, quizzes, announcement etc. In my school, we use it as a one stop shop for information. Some teachers have moved to a flipped classroom or a paperless/reduced paper classroom. Canvas is pretty easy to use but, some things do take a little trial and error to figure out. In my school, we have had some problems with the Canvas servers going down and, access becomes restricted.
Flocabulary– I love this website! In my opinion, it is super fun to use in class. Flocabulary helps students master academic content through rap songs. The website provides handouts and project ideas to further understanding. Flocabulary contains a variety of content from math, science, social studies etc. The largest drawback on Flocabulary is the yearly subscription. Flocabulary also has limited content which can be difficult if you are searching for something specific.
Google Drive– Google drive offers free cloud storage and multiple other functions. Google Drive is a great tool for educators, students, and professionals. Drive allows access to stored documents from any computer, phone, tablet etc. with an internet connection. This removes the need to carry around thumb drives or e-mail documents to yourself. Drive is great but, it is time-consuming to switch documents over from your computer to cloud storage.
SHEG– Stanford History Education Group. This website has resources for both United States and World History. The focus of the lessons are “reading like a historian.” Each lesson provides documents, guiding questions, and step by step directions. This is great for teaching reading strategies to students. The lessons are easily adaptable and free. Constraints with the website are the limited amount of resources. Not every event is available narrowing which ones you can choose from.
Prezi– Prezi is a great presentation tool. Prezi has multiple layouts and themes to choose from. I found Prezi to be a more engaging than using other presentation programs and, the students like it. As with trying any new type of technology Prezi takes some time to figure out. Moving slides around and using visual effects can be more difficult than PowerPoint or Google slides, but I think the end result looks good.
Piktochart– Piktochart is exactly what it says it is an “easy-to-use infographic maker.” There are several templates to choose from and options add graphics and edit as needed. The end result of Piktochart looks really good and does not take a lot of effort or skill to make it that way. Constraints with Piktochart are that you are limited to specific graphics in the free version and having to remove all the information from templates.
Evernote– Evernote is an online program used to keep your notes, lists, everything organized. You are able to access Evernote from your computer and other devices. Evernote can be used as a great organization tool in the classroom, work, or life in general by allowing access anywhere you go. A constraint I have had with Evernote is it does not allow for collaboration very well. Each person needs an account and not everyone can edit the document.
Screencast-o-Matic– Screencast-o-Matic is a great free way to produce screencasts. It is very easy to use, uploads right to Youtube, and you don’t even need to sign-in to start recording. A constraint with Screencast-o-Matic is the watermark it leaves which can take away from the professional appearance of the video. Screencast-o-Matic does offer a paid version which may remove the watermark.
Splice– Splice is a video editing app for iPhones. The app allows the user to capture video, edit video, add music, and narration. Splice is great for students filming in class because it is a very simple and easy to follow video editing tools. Each group does not need an editing specialist with this app. The largest draw back is Splice is only available on the iPhone. The app also takes up space on phones and students don’t want to give that up.
Padlet– Padlet is a great collaborative tool. Padlet allows you to ask questions and have students respond with sticky notes, online. This is a great tool for class discussions, exit slips, any type of quick check for understanding. My favorite part of Padlet is that the posts can be made anonymously. Moving notes around in Padlet can be difficult and create some organization problems, specifically when students are adding responses.