Robert A. Heinlein once said, “Progress is made by lazy men looking for easier ways to do things.” And he was right. Our desire to do nothing is a moving force to create the variety of devices to make our lives less hectic. However, if it concerns our hard daily work, why don’t we make it a bit easier?
Modern world makes teachers keep up with times and follow the latest trends. Now they spend considerably less time preparing lessons, they have interactive classes and use telephones and tablets in the classroom. Lots of teacher functions become automated thanks to up-to-date means. Isn’t it great?
Nevertheless, if you still use some outdated tools, it’s high time to choose the new ones:
Edmodo is actually an online classroom, which allows teachers assign homework, track student progress, conduct quizzes, create discussions and groups, monitor actions of each group member. There’s a global community of educators, which are always ready to share their work experience and materials with you.
Wikispaces is a virtual platform for writing. Teachers create workspace for studentswhere they can collaborate or work individually on writing projects. Students can reach this online workspace on any kind of devices (computer, phones, tablets). Assessment tools are available for better convenience and more effective evaluation process.
Unplag plagiarism checker is a tool that provides teachers with fast and high-quality scanning of student essays. Plagiarism problem is quite growing now, since each and every student uses the Internet daily. Unplag shows detailed report, where teachers can see originality percentage, highlighted text coincidences, list of original sources, history of checks and many other information.
Make your teaching fun and promote social learning with Kahoot! You quickly create a learning game (which is called “kahoot”) adding some interesting stuff like pictures, videos, diagrams, and of course some questions that students could answer. Every student uses his or her own device to take part, however, the game is displayed on a shared screen. Students from around the world can also be invited to compete against students in your class.
Is there anything you’d like to remind your students or parents? Remind sends notifications or materials (photos, documents, presentations, voice records) to individual students or a group within a few seconds, and these messages are available on anydevice. If there’s a need to keep phone number private, you can do it as well.
Good visualization is important too, so a technically-savvy teacher needs to know how to create good photos, designs and collages. What’s more, this process shouldn’t take much time, and the tools for making and editing visual content has to be easy to access and use. It’s great that PicMonkey is like this.
NoRedInk is a tool helping students improve their grammar and writing. It’s quite attractive for students, since it’s personalized and oriented on their interests. While performing tasks and taking quizzes, students make mistakes, the tool redirects them to alike tasks so they can practice a bit more.
Teachers have a number of advantages to enjoy, which drastically save time and maketeaching easier: pre-made lessons, automatic grading, student progress tracking and so on.
Teachers and students can use Dropbox for sharing study materials. These materialsare synchronized automatically to all devices that both educators and students use. When anybody, who has access to the folder changes files there, others get updates atonce. Teachers can even save files on their computers and access them using phones ortablets.
What can be better than easy and convenient lessons planning? Planboard promises to “get organized and reduce your classroom prep time”. Teachers use an online editor thanks to which teachers create interactive lessons adding some videos, images and additional materials. This online tool is available on different devices so you can take it to the classroom and use it during the class.
Quizlet is amazing for teachers if they want to use flashcards and study models in the classroom. You create original flashcard sets or just take user-generated ones. There are also options of generating tests based on your flashcards, practicing pronunciation and vocabulary and so on.
A few more tips to be a tech-savvy educator:
- Try using social media for educational needs. First off, it’s easy to reach your students and let them know about recent changes in schedule or recommend some extra materials to read.
- Increase your digital literacy, read more about innovative education and start practicing it on your own.
- Be open to new teaching methods, don’t be afraid to blend online and offline learning, use interactive means in the classroom.
- Telephones and tablets are great helpers in teaching. Keep them at hand so you could quickly access your study materials.