These are a few of my favorite things... 6 technologies you can use on day 1 of school!

HELLLLLLLOOOOOOO!!!!

 So if you're anything like me, you're probably in the starting stages of school. You're trying to diversify your lessons, and you're wondering if there is any technology that will make your life easier? well... lucky for us, there is. And there is a lot of it!

The most common question I get when I meet with teachers is, "What technology do you use?" or "What activities do you use?" 

The first question I'm going to go into in this blog post, the second question... you're going to have to read my FREE book 

Alright, lets do this thing!  (Also, if this helps you in any way... follow my twitter, I update that thing every time I post something useful up here. )


Coggle

Why do I like this? 

I like this app because it's a quick, simple, and dynamic way to get ideas up on the board. And the best part is if you incorporate this in class, you can assign it for homework through your students google accounts. (you can embed it) and showcase it on your website as well. 

https://coggle.it/


Teacher Kit

 Why do I like it?

I like it because we use Powerschool in my classroom and it takes forever to do anything. Between logging in every time the ipad or iphone goes to sleep (which you can't use with powerteacher in my district). And the system is also heavy weight, in other words it's very slow.

One downside is that you're going to have to copy all of what you do twice, once on the fly, then again on powerschool. This isn't very convenient in between classes. Maybe taking attendance on powerschool is more practical since your administrator is watching that. And then using this for all of the grades and behavior. http://teacherkit.net/

Squarespace

 

Why do I like it?

I like Squarespace because it's the most intuitive, and simplest way to create a GREAT looking website for very little money. Of course there are free website tools out there but they come with a host of problems. Trust me, I've built several websites using the heavyweights in web development and they all have at least one infuriating flaw... I haven't found squarespaces yet. Probably  because they're a for profit company with a great customer service team that can answer questions live, or online. Great product for getting your own website up and going. You do have to put the thing together though, but the drag and drop functionality is wonderful. After that it's your run of the mill blogging interface, but with a ton of great features.

http://www.squarespace.com

 

TouchCast

 

Why do I like it?

I like Touch Cast because it's a whiteboard, screencaster, poll, quiz, and website interactive tool at the same time. It's probably more, but that's only what I've been using so far. 

Think of it this way... What if you could click on everything a news caster was talking about, while they were talking about it, and ever miss a beat of what the speaker was saying? It's pretty much the ultimate in screencasting and recorded tutorials if you're into that stuff. Also it's a great way to add commentary on a youtube video and use it to flip a classroom. This is an awesome tool. http://www.touchcast.com/

 

Educreations

 

Why do I like it?

Didn't you just say that Touch Cast is also a white board app? I did... that's true. But, the whiteboard feature is garbage. If you're going to do a whiteboard screencast or tutorial and you want to put it up as a self contained white board thing. Go with Educreations, it's way smoother. You can even put images in seamlessly from the net while you're doing your tutorial. AND THEN you can copy the link and put it in a blog post, boom! Now you've flipped that classroom. The input is out of the way, now you can do activities and actually differentiate your time amongst the students. http://www.educreations.com/

 

Quizlet

Why do I like it?

I LOVE Quizlet. It's one of those things that I wish I had when I was studying for the SAT's or for one of my university classes. This is an incredible tool for getting students to learn their vocabulary, and to get a lot of that drudge work out of the way. It's also an incredible tool for assigning the students vocabulary words online. Then, the students can save the link or refer to the blog post with the vocabulary set on it while they're writing reports. You've pretty much eliminated the need for the "write this 10 times" or "Put these words into a sentence". Those days are long past! And here's the best part, as a teacher the work is already done for you. Instead of making your own card sets... I challenge you to type in a subject and I promise that there will be card sets there... now it might not have all of the vocabulary, but who said that you needed THOSE WORDS FROM THE BOOK in the first place? use your judgement. 

http://quizlet.com/25253240/biology-flash-cards/


Oh... And do me a favor... if this list helped you out, and you would like to get more of this kinda stuff I'm putting up all the time...

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Also, if you've got some questions or ideas of your own, leave them in the comments section!