Have you made a new year’s resolution? Or perhaps ten? Are you one of those people who thinks the whole thing is nonsense and you’ll never stick to it, so there’s no point in making one in the first place? Whatever your stance, the New Year is a good opportunity for a healthy dose of ‘out with the old, in with the new’, and a great opportunity for teachers to cast around for new education technology tools to freshen and reinvigorate their classrooms.
It doesn’t have to be something fancy and complicated; it might just be a new website or resource that changes your approach to a particular topic or makes communication with your students more effective. January is a great chance to blow the cobwebs out of the EdTech cupboard and start afresh! Here are some great tools you might like to try…
It won’t be new to many teachers, but for those who haven’t used it before, Engrade can be something of a revelation. Specifically and carefully crafted to make a teacher’s life easier in every possible way, this digital tool has been extremely well thought through. From an administrative point of view, it offers a clear, efficient online system to keep track of everything from attendance records to assignment standards and grades, with the opportunity to keep a teacher’s calendar and even a classroom seating map as well.
The platform also offers communication systems to keep teachers, students and parents in close contact and teachers can also create lessons and academic content which students can then gain access to using their own login details.
Sometimes the simplest tools really are the best – and never has that been truer than in the case of A.nnotate, a brilliant resource that enables teachers and students to annotate documents online. With strikethrough, highlights and inserts, it is possible to annotate any part of the page, and even to snap a picture of web text and save it in your storage area to annotate instead of uploading text directly.
Best of all, teachers and students or groups of students can share and annotate the same document, enabling quick, easy collaboration and sharing of notes and ideas, as well as feedback. Perfect for teams of students working on a shared project or task.
Another tool that can revolutionise cooperation in and outside the classroom, MixedInk is a collaborative writing platform that allows groups of any size to weave their best ideas and language into a single text.
The tool promises to turn writing assignments into a fun, social classroom experience, and it is a clever and innovative way to turn the kind of long-form writing that was once a solitary pursuit into a group exercise. Working together allows students to fire each other’s creativity and influence each other’s ideas in an enjoyable and productive way, and the end result can be shared and graded to give each group a final mark for their work.
Are you planning to try any new edtech tools this year? Let us know your plans and resolutions below!
Image courtesy of Flickr: Jlhopgood