25 Teaching Tools for the Digital Classroom
Through conducting my research on digital forms of literacy in the classroom, I found a great article that lists twenty five teaching tools to organize, innovate, and manage what a teacher does in the classroom on a regular basis. The article features an abundance of web-based programs and applications that serve a specific function and assist in the categories of, organization, project-based learning, classroom management, presentations, and assessment. Many of these digital tools I had not yet heard of before, but some were in fact familiar to me, either in my usage of them or my teacher/professor’s. In terms of organization, some of the programs listed are Engrade, MySchoolBinder, and Learn Boost. Engrade provides teachers an online all-in-one grade book that includes attendance charts, calendars, grade books, and behavior tracking. MySchoolBinder lets teachers organize and edit their class assignments in a much simpler way, and Learn Boost is a digital student progress tracker. In terms of project-based learning, one program that I found interesting was the app SonicPics, which allows students to combine pictures with recorded narration into a threaded story. I also found the program myHistro quite fascinating, since it allows students to create a sort of digital timeline using blogs, media, and Google maps to tell personal stories. In terms of Classroom Management, one program that stuck out to me was Edmodo. Edmodo is a sort of Facebook-styled platform that allows teachers to continue classroom discussions outside of the classroom, check for student understanding, and get students excited about coming to class to learn. ClassDojo was another interesting behavioral tracking tool, because it rewards students for good behavior by giving the teacher the ability to send “points” to his or her students’ smart phones or tablets. In terms of presentations, one of the more useful tools I saw on the list was Brickflow, which allows teachers and students to create their own presentations using content collected from social media, including youtube, twitter, Facebook, etc. Rather than just having boring slides, this form of a presentation offers a lot more visual types of learning through the use of different forms of media. Finally in terms of assessment, the program that I could see myself enjoying was ClassMaker. This program allows teachers to create secure online quizzes and exams that feature multiple question types such as multiple choice, short answer, and essay, and they are automatically graded.
Digital Tools by Colleen Young
Another site I stumbled upon through doing my research was another WordPress blog titled Digital Tools by Collen Young. The blog offers slides and various youtube videos that explain how to use specific digital tools such as Desmos, Moodle, ImageCodr. Young also includes PowerPoints on why digital tools are becoming more of a necessity in today’s classroom. One presentation explains why Digital Tools are needed in the classroom, while another portrays what kinds of Digital tools are being used most frequently, and which are the most effective in terms of a student’s learning ability. At the end of her blog Young includes two PowerPoints that list the top 100 digital tools for learning in the years of 2010, and 2011.