As the new school year looms in the visible future, it’s time to start thinking about what tech tools I’ll be using this year. New school, new way of doing things, but some things, for me never change.
Most experts in edtech suggest having a tool box with 8 apps in it that you use with some regularity in your classroom each year. I sort my apps into the following categories: Classroom Management and Communication, Lesson Planning and Formative Assessment, Productivity, and Content Area. I combed through my box of junk and discovered I tend to use 6 particular apps most of the year for Lesson Planning and Formative assessment. Let’s check out each one below.
The district I am leaving is a Google district, so my ultimate “go to” apps are the GSuite apps. Classroom, Docs, Slides, Forms, Sheets, Calendar, Drawing, and Keep kept me organized and created paperless, easily managed assignments, lessons, activities, and assessments. In additions, apps like Maps, Youtube, etc, add a interactive aspect to learning that I love. This will always be my #1 tool.
When it comes to creating a quick and dirty lesson for students to use independently or to use as a whole class learning experience, Nearpod is the game’s best player. You can create your own lessons, or search among hundreds of lessons created by teachers and the Nearpod group to provide a balanced, interactive lesson with a quiz, for your students. Snow day looming? Make one of these, share with class, then go make a snowman.
I’m still struggling with the participation level I want with this app but I love it because it’s a great “drop it here so we can see it” place for student work and discussion. I see more use of it in professional development and really need to get with some teachers on how they’re getting kids to use it. (I think a lot of the issue is not wanting to share the work)
If you have a lot of content to explore and want to keep it organized for the students PLUS give them a visual representation to connect the content, Thinglink is you app. I use it alot in my Chemistry Unit, where a lot of very abstract concepts need to be bundled so students can have all the learning in one place, on one page, and with one focus. Media of all types can be added to differentiate a concept and provide opportunities for students to review at will.
Cerebral, but focused, this app takes a lesson and breaks it down into bit sized pieces in an organized and well thought out manner. Watch a video on a topic, answer questions about the video, join a discussion on the topic and if interested, get more info on a resource page. Love it!
I discovered this gem of an app while facilitating my Blended Learning book study last summer. One of the teachers participating used it to show how she presents learning and discussion in her music class. I fell in love instantly. WeJit is actually 6 apps in one. With it you can create a opinion discussion, a survey, a brainstorming session, a debate, prioritize a list, and create a discussion. WeJit is currently creating even more mini apps for scheduling, rating, chatting, etc.
There are many more apps available to help create lessons and assessments that can be used in a blended learning environment. What are some of yours? Click the image below to get more info on these 6 apps.