Technology Resources for Teachers
Teaching in the 21st Century provides some difficulties along with some amazing opportunities. We sometimes struggle getting our technology obsessed students away from their phones, but we also need to realize they have never lived in a world without it. How can we use this to our advantage? Using technology in the classroom is an amazing way to engage students of all ages. Utilizing technology in the classroom is an effective way to connect with students of all learning levels. It also gives students the opportunity to enhance the interaction with their peers and teachers.
Technology Challenges in the Classroom
Using technology can pose some challenges you need to keep in the back of your mind, so you can adjust to make them work for you and your students. When planning to use technology, always walk your way through the resource yourself, before having your students log in to prepare for any difficulties and how to troubleshoot any issues.
TeacherTube.com is a free website for teacher made video content. You can search for a specific topic orbrowse by category, quickly finding relevant videos. For example, searching for “middle school algebra” will load a results page containing study guides, specific lessons and exam reviews. This easy way to use technology in the classroom adds a multimedia element to your lessons, which can effectively resonate with visual learners. Why not use YouTube? There are ads and suggested videos that may not be student appropriate and there isn’t any way to know if they will pop up. I suggest avoiding the use of YouTube in any classroom setting.
Robotics Teaching Resources – Including Lego and NASA!
Teaching robotics isn’t something that requires a captive audience. Instead, it’s a subject that lends itself to well to the inquiring minds of students. Find plenty of ideas and plans below to help you get started.
LEGO EV3 Online Courses – Free online courses that are specifically for the LEGO EV3 system.
Robotics Lesson Plans – Lesson plans courtesy of NASA!
STEM Robotics Repository for Educational Materials – Educational faculty members can apply for a free account to access all the educational materials this resource has to offer.
Robot BASIC – Retired college professors authored this free robotics resource.
How to Teach Robotics – This informative article from The Guardian offers several teaching ideas and links to robotics resources for different grade levels.
Student and Teacher Online Learning Communities
www.quizlet.com Quizlet is one of the world’s largest student and teacher online learning communities. Anyone can use Quizlet to study and learn content created by others or created on your own. With most teachers having planning periods to work together, you can share sets with other teachers on your team. There is an option to search sets already made by other users. To create your own content, you will need to make an account. To take it up another notch, your students can use their phone to use Quizlet because there is an app, free on iOS and Android.
https://docs.google.com/ Google Docs was an amazing resource when a group project was in the lesson plan. The perks to this option is that every student can access the assignment from school and home.
teacherspayteachers.com Teachers Pay Teachers is an online marketplace where teachers buy and sell original educational materials. There is something for every grade level and subjects, including holidays. This is a great resource to use for lesson planning because it is created by teachers who are in the classroom every day and have been successfully developed to be beneficial. It empowers teachers to be able to focus on actually teaching the content, instead of coming up with the classwork. There is a way to access free content, but most of the resources cost money.
www.playfactile.com Factile is a free learning platform that allows teachers to create engaging jeopardy- style quiz games for the classroom. Using ‘fun’ while reviewing for exams helps the students stay active in their learning.
mobymax.com This online resource can be accessed by students from home and the teacher can measure performance and provide in depth reports showing progression or regression, identifying learning gaps. There are different options Moby Max provides including: learning, assessments, and interactive activities.
www.readinga-z.com is a literacy focused Pre K-6 resources for every learning level.
jr.brainpop.com (K-3), brainpop.com (upper elementary and middle school) and ell.brainpop.com(English language learner focused) is a playful, educator-focused online resource focused on games, animated movies, and activities covering all subjects and universal topics.
www.getepic.com is a digital library for kids 12 years and under. There is a parent log in option for students’ use at home.
www.abcya.com is an interactive, game-style resource, with ELA, Math and Science for grades K-6. You can search by standard or by game, based on grade level.
www.nearpod.com Nearpod was created for teachers, so that they could focus on the instruction. There are eight different options for students to interact with their learning. ‘Draw It’ is an interactive whiteboard where students can draw, highlight, type, and add pictures. ‘Open-Ended Question’ gives your students a chance to freely demonstrate their understanding of a topic. ‘Quiz’ Assesses students’ understanding through multiple choice questions and receives instant results. ‘Poll’ highlights student opinions, checks for understanding, or provokes a discussion. ‘Collaborate’ creates collaborative learning opportunities where students can share ideas in real-time.
‘VR Field Trip’ takes your students on a virtual reality adventure without leaving your classroom. ‘Fill in the blank’ is a fun “drag & drop” activity that allows students to populate blanks with words. ‘Matching Pairs’ is a classic match game. It allows students to test their knowledge by matching pictures and/or text. All of these give teachers immediate feedback on student performance.
Online Bulletin Board
www.padlet.com Padlet is an application to create an online bulletin board, which allows you to display information for any topic. Easily create an account and build a new board. You can add images, links, videos, and more. You can return to add more later.
www.symbaloo.com Make your online life easier by keeping all your favorite websites organized in a visually-appealing, personalized environment. You can save your links in tiles that you can customize with different colors, icons or images.
Online Math Resources for Teachers
www.prodigygame.com Prodigy has math content from all major topics and will seamlessly cover Grades 1-8 to help ensure your students are ready for standardized testing. Prodigy addresses every child’s individual needs with a diagnostic test to place students in the correct grade, embedded assessments, and automatic differentiation. Prodigy ensures that each student succeeds at their own pace.
There are so many different ways to use technology in the classroom and there is no way to list them all. Keep in mind, with any technology based resource, you will come across several that are not free and require a membership. Talk with your curriculum coordinator or department chair at your school to see if any of the resources can benefit multiple people. Schools have funding for curriculum and it never hurts to ask.