5 Tech Tools to Consider Learning This Summer

Summer is just around the corner! Which in teacher world means a nice break and some time to start thinking about next year. As you start formulating plans in your head for next school year, consider adding these five technology tools to your classroom.

Rubric Maker:

Rubrics, I feel, are always a love-hate relationship. I love using them but hate making them. There are a few tools out there that help make that rubric process a little more enjoyable. One that I cannot get enough of is ThemeSpark. The reason why I LOVE Themespark and cannot stop talking about it because it is connected to all the Common Core Standards. So let’s say you teach 10th grade Life Science, you can go all the way down to the specific standard you are teaching and it will auto-populate the rubric FOR YOU!! You can then edit specifics inside the cells and customize the rubric for exactly what you need. This is a MUST to check out for teachers.

Student Creation Platforms:

Adobe Spark Video. I love having students make videos in class, but sometimes it can be a painful process because of the labor-intensive video editing skills that are required. Adobe Spark Video cures that issue and makes your work look really impressive at the same time. Adobe Spark Video is part of the Adobe Suite and provides students with the tools to make voice recorded videos in a matter of seconds. The main reason why I love this platform is that each voice recording is attached to the slide it was recorded on, so if a student messes up on the 15th slide, they only have to fix that slide without having to start all over again. The platform makes it simple to add voice, pictures, texts, and preloaded background music to your video. This platform can be used K-12 and would be a great addition to any subject.

Canva. If you want to feel like a graphic designer all you need to do is create a login for Canva, and you will be there in no time. Canva makes you look pretty good at creating beautiful slides, posters, infographics, or images. Students can easily use Canva to make their presentations come to life or to demonstrate their understanding of a topic. Canva also allows students to have real-time collaboration on their projects. This is a great platform, and I’ve seen it regularly used from upper elementary through college.

Student Participation

Mentimeter. This is such a fun platform to use in the classroom and can really be used on the fly as you see discussion or understanding start to take shape during a lesson. Mentimeter is basically an audience interface system where the teacher poses different prompts to students and they respond on their device. Their responses then appear on the screen in real time. Teachers can pose multiple choice questions, image choices, open-ended questions, scales, and can even make a world cloud with student responses!

Flipgrid. If you want to capture student ideas and have them discuss with one another, Flipgrid is an awesome platform for that. First, the teacher starts a grid by posing a question or a statement they want students to respond to. Then, students respond by recording a short video (teacher decides the time limit). Once the responses are recorded, all of the videos appear on the student’s flipgrid dashboard. Next, students can watch each other’s videos and respond accordingly. It is a great way to encourage online discussion and a really great opportunity to cover some digital citizenship standards.

If you want more ideas, check me out on Twitter @HACKRteacher. Also, if you are interested in thinking about how to integrate technology effectively into your classroom, check out our HACKR Bootcamp this summer. Four days of learning and AWESOME takeaways ready for the next school year.

Happy Teaching! Michelle

Kat McGowan

by Kat McGowan

Kat brings over 15 years of experience to her role as the Doceō Center Assistant. She’s passionate about streamlining processes and loves finding ways to make life easier and more efficient. She coordinates and manages events connected with the Center’s activities and maintains office services by organizing office operations and procedures. She is currently working on her Bachelors in Business Administration and will graduate in the summer of 2018.