I have picked five of my essential classroom tools. Pick one today to try with your students. I’ve also added some of my favorite new productivity tools for my smartphone, iPad, and a few new ones for my Mac.
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Nearpod is my favorite tool for presentations. My students can use their iPhones/iPads or computers to follow along and see the slides. Every third or fourth slide, I like to have an interactive feature. I can include quick formative assessment tools, drawing or brainstorming contributions from everyone and even 3d and virtual field trips. This tool is essential for my classroom.
I’ve been using Edpuzzle for several years. This tool lets me make videos for my students and include formative quizzes and feedback inside the videos. In addition to making my own videos, I can take video and add my voice or use someone else’s video altogether. I can also just use pieces of a video. I can’t in-flip my classroom without this valuable tool.
I’ve got quite a few resources on Hyperdocs to help you get started. These are documents that you can adapt from other teachers after finding them on the web or the Hyperdocs website. While you could do them in non-Google Tools (I guess) typically they are Google tools. I love using them in Google Docs and Google Slides. Simply put, these handy tools make your classroom paperless and can give you some simple to use tools that you can adapt for your needs. Get to know hyperdocs. They are invaluable to me (and simple.) Here are some digital citizenship hyperdocs you can use of mine.
4. Office 365
At my school we’re a Google school and Office 365 school. My students love Office 365 and can open their files in Word on their computer, online, on their phone or iPad or anywhere. We also use One Drive for many file sharing ways. This suite is used heavily in colleges and I find Office 365 invaluable for us.
5. Screenshots and Screencasts
Every student should know how to make screenshots and screencasts. I’ve blogged before about 10 Ways to Use Screencasts for Formative Assessment. From playing the video games so I can grade them (I’m terrible at playing video games) to documenting what they’ve learned, students must be able to create screenshots and screencasts on every device they use. This is something you should assess and make sure they can do.
I also mention several other apps in the show.
Tips for minimizing teacher stress
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- Learn tips to help you deal with difficult colleagues and students (even those who "hate" you -- yes it is possible!)