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A Tech Teacher’s Favorites

Looking for Great Teach Tools? An Educator offers his picks.

By Anita Merina

 

Most teachers are so busy with classroom organization and adapting to new curriculum that they have little time for researching classroom tech tools. Dale Borgeson, award-winning veteran elementary teacher, and recent retiree from Vintage Hills Elementary School in Temecula, Calif., offers some suggestions.

REMIND: Borgeson says every teacher should use the opt-in program Remind (formerly Remind 101), which allows teachers to communicate with parents and students via text. Since most people check text messages more often than email, he says, teachers who only rely on email risk having their messages overlooked.

GONOODLE: Primarily for elementary students, GoNoodle provides fantastic “brain breaks.” Borgeson used it to project short, fun videos that get kids up and moving. He says, “The three- to five-minute breaks helped us all keep our sanity,” and adds that the kids love the Zumba dances most of all! GoNoodle even features Olympians who offer advice on healthy habits.

KIDBLOG: An easy-to-use site with a quick registration process that will allow your classroom to blog almost immediately. Teachers can monitor what their students are writing in real time and make suggestions for improvements. (Great for using in the computer lab). Says Borgeson: “I especially like that parents can go online and see what their child and their classmates are writing about.”

SCOOTPAD: This time saver allows teachers to distribute assignments that can be completed at home or school, helping to minimize the amount of material that must be returned for grading. When responses are entered, teachers will receive real-time analyses based on algorithms in the program. Best of all, parents can log into the program to monitor their child’s progress.

ANIMOTO: Animoto allows teachers to create rich videos highlighting what they are doing at school. Students can also use Animoto for project-based learning assignments.

SCREENR: Eases the process for creating screen casts, which allow users to record their computer activities, and share them with others. Screenr can be used to answer commonly asked questions from parents and/or students.

TECHNOLOGY IN EDUCATION: Technology in education allows teachers to discuss the latest technologies they are using in the classroom. Sometimes, the best resources around are fellow teachers.

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1-Oct-14

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