Five Edtech Tools to Shake Up and Wake Up Your Class
Whether you’re a new or veteran teacher, these five Edtech tools will transform classroom management, classroom culture, and student engagement.
Low tech can be high tech when you turn your traditional PowerPoint into a ready-to-play slideshow. Instead of prepping your lesson and then delivering it in class, use the “add audio” function to automatically record yourself as you read through your PowerPoint slides ahead of time. Create a complete self-guided PowerPoint, add audio for a complete lecture experience and save it as a video to play in class.
Using PowerPoint audio is like having a second teacher in the classroom. When you press play on your PowerPoint slideshow, you can then circulate to address classroom management needs and help struggling learners. If students used to slip between the cracks or whisper in the back while you lectured, now you can circulate to wake up your class as they listen and follow along with your “second teacher” PowerPoint slideshow up front. Pause and restart anytime. If you want students to work independently, students can watch the slideshow with headphones on personal computers or tablets. This simple Edtech tool can be life changing for new or veteran teachers who struggle with classroom management or simply want more time to engage 1:1 with students.
Test Prep is boring. Worksheet review is boring. “Trick” students into thinking this necessary practice is a fun game by having them share answers on smartphones or tablets. Quizalize is similar to a live survey poll. You can create multiple choice, true/false, yes/no questions for students to answer instantly. Transform classroom culture and energize mini-lessons and guided practice by sharing every single question, multiple-choice handout or practice quiz with Quizalize. When you add common core standards to each question, Quizalize automatically stores and tracks student mastery of skills so you can easily differentiate and spiral learning objectives based on student performance.
If your students don’t have access to personal smartphones or tablets, do test prep and skills review using Flip Quiz. Turn traditionally boring test prep or even daily practice into an interactive highly engaging Jeopardy-style game. Simply create and display the game show board on the classroom SmartBoard screen and play! Instead of explaining History and English content or demonstrating Math and Science problems, maximize student ownership of learning by introducing all new content and skills as trivia questions. Introducing a new concept or definition? Pose it as a trivia question. Learning a new math formula? Pose it as a trivia question. Flip Quiz allows you to flip traditional student-teacher roles by reducing teacher-talk time and empowering students to come up with the answers.
Do you have written assignments that can’t be transformed into multiple choice interactive polling or a trivia game? Are you tired of students groaning every time you ask them to take out a pen and paper? Students can show what they know on the engaging online comic creator, Pixton.
- Instead of writing an essay on theme, characterization or conflict, have students illustrate a storyboard, character map or plot mountain.
- Instead of writing the steps of a math formula, have students invent a mnemonic device and illustrate the steps in a comic strip.
- Instead of writing about a science concept or historical event, have students illustrate a mind map or timeline comic strip.
Visual aids are the most powerful memory device, and you can effortlessly incorporate Pixton Comics into every lesson to have students show what they know visually.
If you are an English teacher, it may seem impossible to incorporate Edtech tools into a traditional novel study or class read aloud. While independent reading time is vital to long-term academic and career success, it is difficult for print books to compete in the digital age. Reinvigorate class novel studies and independent reading blocks with Biblionasium. This online book club incentivizes independent reading through online reading logs, rewards and competitions.
While students read “real” print books, they create online reading logs and book reviews for teachers and parents to track progress and leave feedback. Teachers share mandatory and recommended book titles and students create digital bookshelves to increase engagement with required and independent reading choices. For every page they read, students earn reward coins to purchase accessories for their online reading avatars. Students are further motivated to increase the amount of time they spend reading through peer book recommendations and class reading challenges. In addition to reigniting students’ love of reading, Biblionasium makes it fun and easy for parents and teachers to keep track of reading logs and individual student performance.
Whether you teach English, Spanish, Math, Social Studies, Health or Science, you can bring joy back to teaching with these fun Edtech tools that make learning feel like play!