5 EdTech Gems Hidden in the Back of the Filing Cabinet

Even as the school year is winding down and the kids are longing for summer, in the back of our filing cabinet is our secret folder. All the new things we wish we’d tried through the year or want to put in place for next year. When thinking about implementing common core, the task can seem almost overwhelming. However with Pinterest boards, Twitter Chats, Blogs, new apps and programs appearing every day, here are a few to make your life easier.

1. OpenEd.io

OpenEdAbsolutely my favorite go-to for putting together a playlist, a course or just simply looking for resources. This is available on the computer, iPad, eduapp, and Android. Searches can be made by course, by standard, or by grade. They have now literally teamed up over a million resources. There is also a new assessment piece that makes planning easier with a way to see each student’s progress. There are featured resources that include math, ELA and next generation science standards. In literally minutes, I have created playlists on our 6th grade units for Greece and the American Revolution. This is absolutely free and they will not sell your information.

2. Blendspace

BlendspaceMy students have loved this site in showing what you know. They are able to take slides and add text and then add video content on other slides. Flipping the classroom, differentiating instruction and being able to assess student progress are all available. I really like the new piece of being able to add a quiz. Other teachers are sharing their lessons to use. I found content for professional development, art, world languages as well as math, communication arts and science. There is no reason to spend extra time creating a quiz when it can be done right on the lesson. This can be accessed on the computer as well as mobile devices. There is a free version as well as a Blendspace for schools.

3. Activity Spot

Activity SpotActivity Spot by Froylc is another fairly new app that I really like and recently reviewed for Teachers With Apps. Teachers can create lessons from the computer or iPad, publish it to the IPad, assign to students and see the results of the assessment. One of my favorite parts of this app was the variety used in the lessons, such as video, primary and secondary sources and well as interviews. There is also an extensive biography for the pre-made lessons for further study. There is an entire activity catalog that can be searched by standard, grade, or subject. They have a great area of how-to videos, blogs and FAQ’s. Can’t wait to use some of these!

4. EdPuzzle

EDpuzzleThis is a fairly new company that I really like as they have been very responsive to feedback and comments. They have been wonderful about creating new updates and keeping up with trends. Sometimes it is frustrating to see great videos, but you only need 30 seconds, or need to put in an introduction but don’t know how. With EdPuzzle you can do this, from cropping, embedding questions and adding voice. Questions can even be added during the video as well to assess learning right on the spot. There are several options to find the videos. You can even upload your own videos for differentiated lessons. You can embed lessons that can be used through services such as Edmodo. This is a Cute take on Math lesson I found that another teacher had created. This can be made and accessed on the computers and mobile devices and is free.

5. Educanon

eduCanonEducanon is another new site that also harnesses the power of video for lessons. This is a unique projects that uses the LearnLauchx Accelerator, which is an edtech company focusing on growing education. Students create their own lessons, lessons are differentiated, or can be used for homework. While lessons can be created on the computer, iPads play well with the platform and you can even embed lessons into websites and blogs. They offer a blog with tips for flipping the classroom and there are many options for finding videos. There are settings so that students can not skip and there is capabilities for student explanations instead of just multiple choice answers. There is even an equation editor that math teachers will find exciting. This one is also a free site.

While all of these programs offer blended learning, they each have their own unique characteristics that may work for you. You’ll want to print this out or bookmark this article for the day when inspiration hits in the summer, and you are ready to create awesome lessons once again.

Feature image courtesy of Flickr, jmawork.

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3 Comments

  1. These ARE gems and I love treasure hunting! I will share these with my colleagues and will use some of them in the fall for sure. Would you recommend EDPuzzle for beginners creating such video lessons?

    1. Thanks for the comment Patrica! You can’t find treasure without being on the hunt :)
      Yes, EDPuzzle is excellent for beginners and the examples and documentation are all very good. Let us know how you get on!

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