5 Must-Have Tools for Every Teacher's Tech ToolboxJul 26, 2022
A lot of times we hear teachers talk about adding to their “toolbox” of strategies and resources when it comes to teaching, classroom management, and so on. But when we are talking about our technology toolbox, I want to focus on apps and programs that will be our go-to’s in our classroom.
When you have a well-stocked toolbox, you’ll learn how to use the apps and programs comfortably and your students will be comfortable with them too. Only when you all are familiar with using these tools, should you strive to add more.
Here are my recommended apps and programs to start your tech toolbox!
A Program for Lessons and Assignments: LMS (Google Classroom, Moodle, Canvas, SeeSaw, etc.)
You need somewhere that you can assign things to students or at least hold the links to the frequently used programs. Usually, this is your LMS (or learning management system) that is dictated by your school or district, so it isn’t always something that you can pick.
But if you do have options, there are a ton out there, so pick one that you feel comfortable with. I recommend Google Classroom or Moodle, but those are the ones that I am comfortable with. Maybe you used Blackboard in college and know that one well, so use that!
A Program for Discussions (Flipgrid, Padlet, etc.)
Another good program to have in your pocket is one for discussions. We want students to be interacting with each other and this is why I like Flipgrid for this. It provides students the option to do video, audio, text, or a combination of them. You can meet a lot of students’ needs with this and students are able to respond to each other with videos, text, and reactions as well. It provides a great opportunity for peers to work together and give feedback!
A Program for Interactivity (PollEverywhere, Nearpod, Kahoot, etc.)
Any lesson can become engaging with a little interactivity sprinkled in! Pick one program to use to do this, and stick with that for a while until you have it perfected. I really love PollEverywhere because it is a free tool and does a lot of the same things that Nearpod does (so Nearpod is a good option too) and has a Google Slides Add-on as well! You can make a boring lecture into a interactive experience with a tool like this!
A Program for Communicating with Families (email, Remind, Class Dojo, etc.)
This one is a little different because you don’t necessarily need a separate program in order to communicate with families because you can just use email, but you could use something else if that works better for you and the families you work with.
I really liked using Remind and Class Dojo (although Clas Dojo works better with younger students). Class Dojo makes it super quick and easy to give real-time behavior feedback and it’s just the click of a button! Remind is nice because there are options for in-app notifications, texts, or emails.
Personally, I am not great at remembering to use a separate app every day, so I stick with email, but that isn’t for everyone and that is okay too!
In order to design a successful digital classroom, it is important to have the right tools in place. If you are looking to implement or improve your digital classroom, join us at the Design Your Digital Classroom Summit. This online conference will provide you with the resources and knowledge you need to create or enhance your digital learning environment. Click below and sign up today!