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8 Tech Tools Every New Teacher Should Learn

8 Tech Tools Every New Teacher Should Learn

By Candace Alstad-Davies

goodbye to ARTechnology has quickly become a mainstay in the field of education. It provides limitless opportunities for maximizing learning potential in the classroom, while helping students prepare for a career in this technology-driven world.

As a teacher, technology can make your life easier; it allows you to:

  • Facilitate multiple intelligences
  • Actively engage a wide variety of learners
  • Reach students in a meaningful manner
  • Deconstruct difficult concepts
  • Demonstrate a connection between the classroom and the real world
  • Enhance students’ communication, organizational, and research skills
  • Evaluate student performance
  • Maintain student grades
  • Get children excited about learning

The key to effectively using technology lies in understanding the various programs and devices, and sifting through them to find the most valuable and beneficial. I’ve researched and broken down the eight tech tools every new teacher should learn and use in their classroom. All of these tools are focused on education, add value to the classroom, and engage students at every level.

1. Khan Academy

This website is an absolute savior for teachers! It allows individuals to learn at their own pace via practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard. Students are able to discover math, science, computer programming, history, art history, and economics, among others. Khan Academy helps teachers track student progress, differentiate instruction, flip the classroom, and provide parents with a tool to promote education at home.

2. TED-Ed

Many of us have heard of TED and TED Talks, a program that allows experts to give fun, informative, and innovative talks on just about any topic you can think of. For teachers, there’s also TED-Ed.

This free site contains a wide variety of educational videos that will help teach concepts in a new, enlightening manner, while getting students’ creative juices flowing. But that’s not all, teachers can take any educational video and develop a customized lesson around it.

According to the website, users can also “distribute the lessons, publicly or privately, and track their impact on the world, a class, or an individual student.” If you’re looking at flipping your classroom, then TED-Ed would be a great start for you!

More: 5 Easy Steps to a Flipped Classroom

3. Edmodo

Edmodo is a social networking site designed for the educational community. It facilitates communication and cooperation between students, teachers, and parents. This website also helps teachers implement collaborative learning and promote peer-to-peer learning.

Educators are able to share ideas amongst themselves, tackle difficult issues, brainstorm, and locate and exchange materials. However, one of the most beneficial aspects of Edmodo is the ability to communicate with each other safely and securely, without worrying about the deviant side of social networking.

4. Edutopia

This website covers almost any educational topic or issue you can dream up. Whether you’re looking for new learning strategies, methods for assessing student performance, techniques to integrate multiculturalism, or regain control of an unruly classroom, Edutopia has the answer for you.

This online community is an excellent place for fellow educators to share proven techniques and assist one another with the day-to-day struggles that you may encounter. The Core Strategies currently listed on the website include:

  • Comprehensive Assessment
  • Integrated Studies
  • Project-Based Learning
  • Social and Emotional Learning
  • Teacher Development
  • Technology Integration

Other Popular Topics include:

  • Brain-Based Learning
  • Classroom Management
  • Common Core
  • Culturally Responsive Teaching
  • Curriculum Planning
  • Differentiated Instruction
  • Formative Assessment
  • Game-Based Learning
  • Mindfulness
  • Student Engagement

5. Dropbox

This is an incredible cloud-based storage platform that instructors can use to save, manage, and share lessons, written assignments and presentations. Dropbox allows you to save files on your computer and access them on any other mobile device, regardless of where you are.

In addition, if you’re an educator using team teaching, this is the perfect platform to share and access documents without having to email back and forth.

6. Socrative

Socrative is a website that allows teachers to engage students via educational exercises and games, all of which can be played on smartphones, laptops and tablets. Teachers are able to customize evaluations and gain instant feedback on student performance.

Socrative also allows educators to create their own Personal Learning Network, share assessments and resources with one another, and enhance and adapt their instructional skills.

More: How to Expand Your Personal Learning Network With Social Media

7. FunBrain.com

This website focuses on improving students’ math and language arts skills through the use of interactive games and activities. For instance, instructors can develop a multidisciplinary literary unit or novel study that culminates with customized questions that tests reading comprehension.

Note that FunBrain isn’t just for reading. When trying to strengthen students’ math skills, teachers can encourage students to play Space Fractions or Math Baseball. The latter allows you to choose addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, or all of the above as the main focus of the game, while setting the level of difficulty.

8. EduBlogs

EduBlogs is a place to set up blogs for yourself, your students or your classroom. You can use this website for class projects, parent communication, sharing with other teachers, or independent student writing.

If using EduBlogs as an ongoing writing assignment for students, you can also leave private comments for students and help them improve their writing. Since blogs can be set to public or private, this website, like Edmodo, provides you and your class with a safe and secure way to interact online.

If you’re currently looking for a job in the world of education, or are eager to change grade level or position, share your tech expertise and integration experience on your teacher resume. If you have little technology experience, take the time to research the above websites and programs, and gain a good understanding of how to use them.

More: How to Integrate Technology in the Classroom [ebook]

Technology integration will likely continue to play a major role in 21st century education, and must be showcased in your resume, cover letter, teaching portfolio and philosophy of education statement, as well as during the ever-important teacher job interview.

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8 Tech Tools for New Teachers to Learn

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