This year, if you do not want your students to use only pencil and paper, here are some ideas and tools that can enhance your lessons with some technology.
Evernote is one of the my favorite web tool/app ever! You can create different folders for different lessons and take notes by writing text, audio and images. If you are using Evernote on your phone or on your tablet, then you can immediately take the pictures or record your voice as you are listening to a lecture. In class, we can motivate our students to keep record of their learning by taking notes all throughout the year. Like that, Evernote will be their e-portolfio and a great showcase or feedback of what they have learnt in a year. Evernote can be a better replacement and more eco-friendly when compared to a paper-based portfolio.
Edmodo is a mixture of Facebook and Twitter but it’s been designed for classroom use. With Edmodo, you can create a class and invite your students to join in. You and your students can write text, share links, videos, make comments. You can also create a class calendar, assignments, create quizzes and send them to your students. Edmodo can be a great back channel that you can collaborate with your students outside the classroom.
Google Docs is an online word processing tool. The best part about Google Docs is that you can work on a word document collaboratively online. Students can easily work together on group homework or they can brainstorm together on ideas. Also, teachers can give immediate feedback on their students’ written assignments.
Class Dojo is a system where you can monitor your students’ behavior throughout the day using your tablet, phone or computer. As a teacher, you create your classroom and adjust student’s behavior points. When a student is off the task, you can take away the points and when they are on the task, they can get points. By the end of the day, you can see the graphic of how well or bad the students’ behavior is. Your students can also get badges and parents can monitor their progress as well. Class Dojo is a just a great way for monitoring behavior and motivating the students.
Powtoon can be a good replacement for PowerPoint this year in our classrooms. It simply allows you to create online presentation and animated videos, then you can upload them on Youtube immediately. Students and teachers can share their ideas and stories, present new information or ideas for discussions using this tool. We can challenge our students with this tool and get rid of the boredom of PPTs.
Penzu is an online diary. You can create class journals for each of your student, leave inline comments on their diaries. You can also create and send assignments with due dates to your students. Penzu is a great tool that students can keep to improve their writing throughout the year or record a summary of what they have learned in the lessons.
Socrative is a student response system that empowers teachers to collect data from their students. To use this tool, students need to have an access to a browser, phone or a tablet. This tool/app is a set up where you can immediately create multiple choice questions, exit cards, polls, questions with pictures or short answers. The answers that you get from the students will be visible immediately on your screen and this will be a great feedback for us if the students have understood the lesson or not.
TodaysMeet is a service for hosting backchannel discussions in the classroom. Once you create your room, students will need access to the room through their phones, tablets or computers. This tool can be used for real-time discussion during a class watching a video or someone presenting; or it can be used as a tool to poll students quickly, or as a forum where students can anonymously ask questions.
Like many of us all over the world, I’ve always enjoyed reading Roald Dahl stories. He is actually my favorite author!
And, if you are already working on his stories in your lesson, here is a great website that you can find more activities and lesson plans to bring his stories to life with your students.
On the website, you can read about the stories or Roald Dahl himself, learn writing tips from him, find ready lesson plans and online quizzes to explore the stories. The website also suggests things that can be done at home too.
Also, 13th September is the Roald Dahl Day, and here are a few ideas to celebrate it.
And now TED-Ed is bringing TED into your classrooms with TED-Ed Clubs. If you are a teacher and want your students to improve their critical thinking and collaboration skills; stimulate creative and innovative ideas put forth by them; to connect groups of students and educators of all different backgrounds around the world, you can start a TED- Ed club in your school!
TED-Ed Clubs is a platform for students to stimulate and celebrate ideas. It aims to introduce a school-friendly framework which supports students in meeting regularly to discuss, pursue and present their big ideas in the form of short TED-style Talks.
If you are a teacher teaching students aged between 8-18 years old, here you go! You can watch the video below to get more inspiration:
If you are already integrating songs into your lessons, here is a cool tool that you may want to use. It is BatLyrics.
With this tool, you can search for song lyrics with its video. But the best part of this tool is that you can search songs for words or sentences. If you click on the ‘Lyrics Words’ at the top, you can search for any words, sentences or specific terms in a video. When the search is over, it gives you many choices and you can choose the best one that is suitable to use in the classroom. If you want, you can embed the song with lyrics and the video of the song in your blog as well. You don’t need to register to use this web tool and this is cool!
To use in the classroom, you can print the lyrics and use them with your students as gap filling or multiple choice activities. You can also ask your students to create their own gap filling activities for each other.