7 Ingenious Ways to Use Edtech in the Classroom, While Meeting the Common Core Standards
Edtech makes teaching a breeze, right? Um…maybe not. Edtech remains an untapped resource in many classrooms. We are here to help teachers climb the edtech learning curve.
These inventive methods of using edtech tools in the classroom will breathe new life into teaching Common Core Standards. Edtech enhances classroom learning. Students engage the projects and assimilate targeted information and skills without resistance.
1. Blogging is Learning
Blogs make it easy to publish your students’ work which engages them at a whole new level. Writing a book report becomes publishing a book review. Students feel like superstars when grandparents, parents, friends, etc. read their posts.
Blogs can function like a scrapbook or portfolio. You are able to upload photos’ of their artwork, recordings of presentations, and an online version of their planning calendar (which you can update daily).
There are numerous free blog sights on the internet which provide easy to use templates. Google Blogger and WordPress are two popular blog builders. You can create a single blog for the entire class or lead students in setting up individual blogs. Either way, a blog is a gathering place, connecting the home and classroom.
2. Podcasts are a Team Effort
Personal fame is a great motivator! Students will love seeing their names in the credits of weekly current events report re-packaged as a news broadcast, complete with anchors and camera techs! Podcasting will use the various skills and strength of your students. Writers, speakers, researchers, tech specialists, and set designers will be needed. (Think School of Rock!)
Podcasts can be either audio only, like a radio show, or audiovisual, like a television show. You will most likely have the capacity to do either with the devices you have available. Nearly all tablets, laptops, notebooks, etc. are audiovisual enabled, that is, they have sound recording and video recording capacity.
There are apps (applications) to help with recording and editing. Video editing, audio production, sound effects, visual enhancements, you name it, there is an app to assist in and improve upon your experience and production. See the section “There’s an App for Everything” to get a better understanding of using apps in your classroom.
3. Step Aside Bill Nye!
A classroom YouTube channel is totally cool! You will be the talk of the school if you have your own YouTube channel. Like an audiovisual podcast in many ways, but used more by the K-12 age group, a Youtube channel will allow you to produce a television-like show. To understand the difference between a podcast and a YouTube channel read A Beginners Guide to Podcasting-vs-Streaming.
Now Bill Nye doesn’t have to be the only Science-Guy or Gal! Imagine broadcasting your science discoveries and experiments. This changes one-dimensional book learning into a full-body encounter with the awesome world of science. Students won’t forget what they learn by doing and displaying!
Take a look at this video to give you the info you need to be a ‘network exec’: How to Make Your Own YouTube Channel. Don’t forget; your students know this stuff. Let them teach you!
4. There’s an App for Everything
Let’s look at the outrageously diverse and functional world of edtech apps!!! Apps, short for applications, are just that. They are a systemized use or application of the capabilities of your device. They are downloadable, often free, and ingenious!
There are apps for everything: calculus, audiovisual, chemistry, etc. There are apps which improve accessibility for students with different learning challenges, i.e. text to voice, voice to text, etc.
Go to the app store of your school’s device and explore. Again, let your students teach you. They will love showing you around the world of apps!
Here’s a sample of just a few: Remind sends texts reminders of assignments, etc. Poll Everywhere is a highly engaging quiz tool. World Wiki has demographic information from over 250 countries.
5. Text Me!
Many schools have declared, ‘If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!’ in regards to cell phone usage. There are many ways you can increase learning in and out of the classroom by making use of the ever-present cell phone.
The National Education Association offers this resource, Using Cell Phones in the Classroom. Gaggle is a great tool for helping teachers navigate the edtech use of cell phones and, Best Apps for Cellphone Use in the Classroom, is a must-have resource!
6. From Learning to Teaching
The best way to master a new concept is to teach it. One simple way of spreading edtech tools in your school is to develop a cooperative plan with other grades.
A fifth grader can help a first grader read their favorite book on a podcast. Freshmen can apprentice with a senior producing the audiovisual announcements. Edtech can move you from teacher to supervisor.
7. Facebook and Common Core? Sure!
Social media makes things personal. This video, Using Social Media will you excited about how you can link your students to the global community, developing life-changing bonds with people all over the world.
One creative use of social media is an upgraded version of pen pals. Students will learn about other cultures, geographic conditions, political systems and more as they develop compassion engaging in new friendships. This article, Using Social Media in Your Classroom, will help you understand and institute safe uses of Facebook, Twitter and other social media to get students involved with their own education. When they are engaged, they learn!
Transform Boring Into Engaging with Edtech
You will breathe new life into teaching by using these 7 clever uses of edtech in your classroom! Think about a subject that has been putting you and your students to sleep. List the Common Core Standards you need to meet in that subject, then have fun incorporating those goals into one of these new edtech tools!