Teaching in the internet age can be stressful, but it can also be a lot of fun. Sure, we have an ever changing technological and psychological landscape to keep up with -- but that means that we also get to explore an ever shifting array of tools and resources. It can be overwhelming, but there's always something new to explore and discover.
With that in mind, here are five awesome resources I've recently discovered and wanted to share!
Pixaby is an amazing repository of public domain images. It's fantastic for teachers looking for royalty-free images to use in classrooms, but also as a tool to teach younger students about copyright law. If your kids are too young to understand how to do an advanced search for creative commons images, or how to cite resources properly, you can still talk to them about not taking other people's work, then direct them to Pixaby for some fantastic free images.
I've actually looked at Classcraft before, but recently I wrote a review on the new and improved system for Graphite, and I was quite impressed with the slickness. Although Classcraft is designed to monitor student behavior like an older version of Class Dojo, but for those of us who have gamified our entire classrooms and spend hours each week tracking points and the like, the system is a brilliantly simple way to keep track.
3. Volume Monitors
I didn't link to any because each teacher will have their personal preference. But if you have even one iPad in the classroom, you can set up a noise monitor (anyone remember paying upwards of $100 for a "yakker tracker" less than ten years ago??). Noise monitors are a great way to get students to self-monitor their volume. Yes, you'll have to put up with the "class clown" deliberately triggering the "too loud" setting, but if you give them a few minutes to get that out of their system, it works surprisingly well.
I remain a big fan of Edmodo. It's an excellent way to keep kids informed and engaged. Many teachers also use Schoology, and I've seen many who prefer it. Myself, I signed up for Schoology, but I keep coming back to Edmodo. The only thing I don't love about it is that the Facebook style messaging makes it easy to lose important messages, but I find the kids are adept at dealing with that problem.
Remind allows teachers to easily and freely text updates to students and parents without giving out their personal phone number. Although this is a fantastic way of keeping in touch with parents and making sure they're updated on homework, school events, and the like, it's also a great system to remind older students of their obligations.
These are currently my top five go-to teacher tools!
Question of the Day:
What online teacher tool could you not live without?
It didn't make my list because it's not a recent discovery, but Twitter is my absolute favorite tool for teaching and sharing about learning. I know many people use Twitter for different purposes, but for me it's always been an amazing professional resource.Tweet
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|Edmodo For Noobs|