The Best Educational Tech Tools for the New School YearJul 12, 2022
Back to school is a time of renewed hope and a bright future! We are hopeful and excited! Students are still enthusiastic about returning to school and parents are definitely excited to drop them off!
So, as we plan for those first weeks of school, it is important to keep in mind the tech tools we will be introducing and using in our classrooms throughout the new year.
These are the tech tools I make sure to introduce to students in the first couple of weeks of the school year.
I use Google Forms constantly in my classroom and it is one tech tool that I introduce to students from day 1 (and sometimes before that).
Each year, I start by having students do an Interest Inventory so I get to know them, I get to know the kind of technology they have at home, and how they like to learn.
This also helps to inform my Culturally Responsive Teaching because I am getting to know my students as individuals right from the get-go.
Flipgrid is another tool I use with students in that very first week as I ask them to introduce themselves to their classmates in a video. I also encourage them to add as many stickers, filters, and other cool stuff to their video as possible.
This is a very specific thing that I do on my part. Not only do they get to know each other in a fun and low-pressure situation but they are also learning where all the stickers, filters, and cool stuff is on the platform. They are learning how to use the program in a low-pressure situation too.
I like to introduce this early on, again with low-stakes situations, because we use it all of the time and once the novelty of a cool nick-name wears off, they can take it a bit more seriously. (and that usually coincides with when we start using it for content)
So, to make it fun, I like to start with silly things, but also with SEL-related Kahoots as well, since students seem to see them as less-stressful than content-related ones.
I love Newsela because of the many ways that we can use them with students. You can assign things in their platform online, or download or print the articles alone or with their quizzes.
Because I do Current Event assignments each quarter, we always do a current event together as a class.
In the past, I have taken the articles off of the Newsela site and downloaded them as a PDF and then put them in a Google Drive folder that I then shared with students. I also printed the PDF’s and had them available on paper in my classroom for students who preferred that method.
I know there are ways to do this that are easier on me as the teacher, but this is the one that was the easiest on the students and sometimes that is what you have to do to make things work.
This year, I may teach them how to access the latest news on the NewsELA website and choose one on their own, but we will see. ;-)
If you're looking for more ideas on how to use technology in your classroom, be sure to check out the upcoming Design Your Digital Classroom Summit.
This free online event is designed to help teachers like you take their classrooms to the next level with technology. You'll learn about everything from communicating with parents, to podcasting with students, to inclusion!
And best of all, the summit is completely FREE!
So head over to our website and sign up today. We hope to see you there!