Three essential EdTech tools for K-12 educators

December 11, 2018

Technology is changing the way teachers and students interact in the classroom.

From education wikis to crowdsourcing lesson plans, K-12 educators must stay on top of trends in education technology. EdTech platforms can impact student success, teacher productivity, and streamlined processes.

Three Essential EdTech Tools for Educators

1. Google Classroom

Since its inception in 1998, Google has been changing the way people learn and search for information. Google Classroom is a timesaving and paper-saving system that helps teachers organize student assignments and resources.

When used with additional apps in Google’s suite (Drive, Docs, Calendar, etc.), Classroom allows teachers to create, distribute, and collect assignments, increase and simplify teacher-to-student communication, and create discussion rooms.

Top feature: Classroom collaboration on documents is one of the touted features within Google Classroom. Teachers can make shared documents editable by all students, creating the opportunity for everyone to contribute to a class project virtually.

Teacher application: Google offers an entire page of case studies for their education products, including Classroom. These case studies can offer guidance and support for teachers looking for reasons (or benefits) for using Google Classroom. Teachers can sort by institution type, specific topics, or even regions to see how others are using Classroom to support education.

2. Edmodo

Edmodo is an educational social media site (think Facebook for the classroom). With this tool, teachers can create groups for students, other teachers, or even parents to engage with one another sharing notes from the classroom, photos, and other important information. Edmodo also syncs with Microsoft and Google so that teachers’ current tools can be integrated into the platform. It is a tool that can help involve parents by sharing information that is taught in the classroom (for continued support at home), displaying updated grades, or even becoming a forum for questions or discussion.

Top feature: Edmodo provides parents the ability to observe discussions and follow along with what their students are learning in the classroom. It also allows teachers to schedule quizzes, assignments, and maintain classroom updates for all to see.

Teacher application: Edmodo is built with additional resources for teachers in order to share learnings with one another. One such feature is Edmodo Spotlight, an area on the platform where educators can upload original content used in the classroom (or even sell original content), create collections of resources that may be helpful to refer back to (much like a Pinterest board), and keep track of new apps, games, and other premium tools Edmodo has to offer. Downloading the Edmodo app ensures that you have access to the platform when you need it—for 1:1 assignments in the classroom, for managing grades when you’re outside the classroom, or even checking your upcoming schedule of assignments.

3. TED-Ed

TED-Ed is a tool for educators provided by the TED Talks creators. It allows educators to take any useful educational video—from YouTube or TED—and create a customized lesson from it.

Teachers can add content to the video via text boxes, create multiple choice/short answer/essay questions to accompany the video, and add extra resources. Teachers can then distribute the lesson to their class and track views and check quiz scores.

Top feature: TED-Ed has a library of pre-created lessons for educators to use. These lessons represent collaborations between expert educators, screenwriters, and animators and cover dozens of topics.

Teacher application: The TED-Ed blog is one way educators can take TED-Ed learnings to the next level. Not only can the articles inspire teachers with new topics for lesson planning, the blog also provides information on everything from how to engage parents in student learning to great summer reading lists. In addition, the site provides resources in its Lessons Worth Sharing section whereby teachers can create lesson plans based on previous TED Talks.

Need help integrating technology into your course plans? Learn more about Capella’s online MS in Education Innovation and Technology program.

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