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For many of us, it's hard to keep up-to-date with the all of the latest tech toolsthat teachers are using in their classrooms. But, this ever-changing technology is changing the way students learn and the way that teachers teach. Here are the top 10 tech tools to try in your classroom.
1. Classroom Website
A classroom website is a great way to keep connected with your students and parents. While it may take some time to set up, it also has some great benefits. It keeps you organized, it saves you time, it allows you to stay connected with parents, it helps students develop their technological skills, and that's just to name a few!
2. Digital Note-Taking
Fourth and fifth graders will love the opportunity to take their notes digitally. Students can get creative and take notes that best suites their learning style. They can draw pictures, take pictures, type in whichever way works for them. They can also be easily shared and children and you will never have to hear the excuse that they lost their notes because they are always accessible.
3. Digital Portfolio
Students can have access to all of their work in one place. This can be via the "cloud" or the school's server, whichever you prefer. This will allow you, as well as your students to access it from anywhere that they desire, school, home, a friends house, etc. It's changing the way student portfolios are, and teachers are loving them.
Email has been around for quite some time now, but it is still a tech tool that is utilized daily. It's a powerful tool that helps with communication and children as young as second grade can use it.
Dropbox is a digital way of being able to review documents (assignments) and grading them. You can access it from any device with WiFi, and students can submit there homework to you through the app. It would be a great app for a paperless classroom setting.
6. Google Apps
Many classrooms have been using Google apps. This is a free application that gives you access to basic tools like drawing, spreadsheets, and word processing. It also has features where students can have a digital portfolio.
Most elementary school classrooms have students journal. Two great digital tools are My Journal and Penzu.These sites are a great alternative to the basic handwritten journals that most students use.
8. Online Quizzes
Online quizzes have become quite popular among elementary school classrooms. Sites like Kahoot and Mind-n-Mettle are among the favorites, along with digital flash card programs like Quizlet and Study Blue.
9. Social Media
Social media is much more than just posting about what food you just ate. It has the power to connect you with other teachers, and help your students learn and connect with their peers. Websites such as ePals, Edmodo and Skype connects students with other classrooms all across the nation and world. Students get to learn different languages and understand other cultures. Teachers can use websites such as Schoology and Pinterest, where teachers can connect with fellow educators and share lesson plans and teaching materials. Social media can be a very powerful tool in education for you, as well as your students.
10. Video Conference
Long gone are the days that parents say that they can not make it to a conference. Technology has made it so easy for us, that now (even if you are in another state) will have no excuse to miss a parent/teacher conference again. All parents have to do is use their Face-time on their Smartphone or get sent a link via the internet to virtually meet online. Face-to-face conferencing may soon be coming to end.