As teachers in a 21st century learning environment, we understand how important technology is to our students. EdWeek MarketBrief’s article, 40 Most Popular Ed-Tech Tools in K-12 Identified, explores a study conducted by Lea(r)n, Inc. and lists the top 40 tech products used in over 200 schools and districts. Karl Rectanus, CEO of Lea(r)n, Inc. believes, “If we want to understand what [products] work for students and teachers, we have to first understand what’s being used.” These tools are organized by categories: Social Network, Assessment, Content, Operational, Reference, and Learning Management Systems (LMS). Listed below are the top 20 most popular ed-tech tools you can incorporate into your classroom setting!
Chrome Remote Desktop
These tools makeup 22.5% of the uses in educational technology. Each of these were designed specifically to enable technology geared environments from home to school and anywhere in between. Google Docs allows you to create a new writing document, Drive helps you store all files, and Forms allows you to create surveys and quizzes. These are part of Google’s brilliant idea to create collaborative and engaging ways to keep all parties in the know. Whether it is for teachers, administrators, students, or parents, the ability to share and collaborate with these tools comes in handy. Weebly and WordPress are two ways to show students they can be inventors of their very own websites or blogs. For educators, you may create a website for your homeroom or share specific events going on in the school. This is a great way to keep students and parents up to date with what is happening in the classroom. In order to access all of these websites, Chrome Remote Desktop keeps users in touch with their computers even from miles away. This software helps computers or mobile device to access files from anywhere, at anytime!
Yahoo! Kids Encyclopedia
Many students believe that research is the most difficult part of any assignment. However, they do not need to use only books any longer in order to find out information. These sites are tools to help gain understanding and knowledge about a topic! Students can e-search, define, or find synonyms and antonyms for whatever topic they are studying. As a technology teacher, I always keep these tools available to my students on my webpage in order for my students to know there are different ways to search for information.
Not only are Google tools used for collaboration, social media is becoming a popular form of interaction between students as well. It allows them to share ideas and see people all over the world who share their same, or different, ideas as well. Facebook is a great tool to create groups for specific grades or classes. Posting statuses to keep students up-to-date helps with so many things such as due dates, reminders, and even information you would like them to read before coming to class.. Pinterest gives ideas to students for projects, writing samples, or even inspiration to keep them engaged in a specific lesson. Of course social media can be a very beneficial tool, it is crucial to teach students the correct way to use them. Keeping accounts private, not posting personal information, and the importance of a positive digital footprint are a few things we as teachers must cover before turning our students loose on these sites.
Kahoot! Leads the assessment category which designs platforms to measure student achievement. These tools provide various assessments from quizzes and online testing to review games. Students tend to enjoy Kahoot! Because of the game-like vibe it portrays. These assessment sites are all valuable tools when it comes down to preparing for statewide testing or just learning specific content.
Learning Management System (LMS):
Learning Management Systems (LMS) are applications for teachers to implement, document, and track student progress with the click of a button. These are important with today’s classrooms becoming paperless. These tools are able to invite students from any class or grade and organize them based on the content they are learning.
All of my students are enrolled in a Google Classroom and it is a simple way to track their progress, grade online, and save paper! Many older students, including high school and colleges, use Canvas and it is a super simple way to create an online classroom. Online classrooms allow each student to view, comment, and collaborate with other students and the teacher who use the same classroom code. Teachers can post questions, assignments, reminders, and grades all online. These tools provide awesome organization and availability to student work.
Everyone loves YouTube, right? YouTube can be a valuable site for many students. Designed to provide specific instruction to students or teachers, videos on YouTube can help instruct students of the millions of ways to do millions of different things! From making slime in STEM class, to listening to songs about state capitals, this site is full of informative ways for children to learn.
Technology is quickly becoming the new norm in many classrooms starting in kindergarten. There are websites for every type of learner! Which websites do your students or children like the most? Comment below.