A preliminary look at new tools: Weekly writing 10

For this week’s writing I spent some time looking at Edudemic’s Best Free Education Web Tools Of 2013 and Steven’s (2013) Teachers’ Favored Web 2.0 Tools and I felt that the majority of the top tools focused on active learning through student project creation, rather than passive teacher presentation. While there were tools dedicated to helping teachers manage and organize educational materials, most tools that were teacher centric included ways for teachers to improve interaction with and engagement of their students. Tools such as GlogsterEDU, KidBlog and Thinglink are all tools that can be used by both teachers and students to present and share learning in a fun and easy to use way. These tools appear to be highly engaging and could help students build positive eportfolios.    Other tools that featured active learning were Storybird, an tool that allows students to create and share books and Scratch, a tool from MIT that allows students to create animations, video games and other products. Scratch also has the added bonus of teaching coding, which is of great interest to many of my students. All of these tools can be used in both individual and group projects and would lend themselves to the community of inquiry idea. I believe these tools have a lot of potential, particularly at the secondary level.

Part of the challenges in teaching at the K-12 level (and in an alternative high school as I do), is the issue of motivation and behavior tracking. Steven’s (2013) list of tools included quite a few classroom management and behavior tracking tools, that I was unfamiliar with. ClassDojo is a free behavior tracking tool that allows teachers to assign points to student avatars for the desired behaviors in a game-type program. As student’s earn points they can redeem points for incentives. Another motivation tool, that has possibilities in the badge earning tools. Students can earn badges through Khan Academy and Open Badges. Here students can track their learning and earn badges for new skills of concepts. I know that my students are highly motivated by online “badges’ and this would be a way to increase engagement.

One tool that I was very excited about was called Nearpod. This tool is a way for teachers to present new material to students while embedding interactive activities into the material. This tool requires all students to have access to a mobile device or laptop, but allows for engaged synchronous learning.  The program allows you to insert polls, quizzes, drawings and other types of formative assessment into your presentation and prompts all students to participate. It then generates feedback for the instructor and instantly gives you an assessment of student understanding. I can envision using this in my face to face classroom, with all students in a circle interacting together, but it can also be used to actively engage distance learners in synchronous discussions.

I am excited to further explore many of these tools, as I think they could improve the overall quality of my course and the work produced by my students. It is important, of course, to lay a solid foundation of content to maximize the use of these tools, but they have the potential to greatly improve engagement and motivation overall.

Work’s Cited

Lepi, K. (2013). The Best Free Education Web Tools Of 2013 | Edudemic. Retrieved from https://www.edudemic.com/best-free-education-tools-2013/

Stevens, K. (2013). Teachers’ Favored Web 2.0 Tools. Retrieved from https://www.edsurge.com/n/2013-08-21-teachers-favored-web-2-0-tools

 

 

35 thoughts on “A preliminary look at new tools: Weekly writing 10

  1. Owen

    Jenny,
    Nice work. I agree that badges present some interesting opportunities. Usually, I’ve found that badging systems are designed rather poorly for education. The best example I know of is Khan Academy, as you mention. Their system is deep and broad and presents multiple award paths and tracks many interesting and rewardable aspects of student behavior. Well done.

    Possibly one of the best badging systems I’ve run across outside of education circles (and not related to games – game companies like Blizzard and Valve have some excellent badging systems) is the beer drinking app “Untapped”. If anyone occasionally partakes, and is interested in badging systems, I recommend giving it a spin. The app is free and possesses a very robust badging system that can be informative as to what a well designed badging system can achieve.

    -owen

    Reply
  2. Alda

    I’m interested in hearing more about your experience with Nearpod. If I read your comment about polls and instant feedback correctly, it sounds like it could potentially be used in place of classroom “clickers” or response pads? I like that it is available on both iPhone and Android.

    Reply
  3. Shio88.press

    I have fun with, cause I discovered just what I used to be having a look for.
    You have ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day.
    Bye

    Reply
  4. judi Sakong

    you’re actually a just right webmaster. The website loading velocity is amazing.
    It seems that you’re doing any distinctive trick. In addition,
    The contents are masterpiece. you’ve performed a great process in this subject!

    Reply
  5. ABCya 14

    We’re a bunch of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
    Your site offered us with helpful info to work on. You’ve done
    a formidable job and our entire neighborhood will probably be grateful to you.

    Reply
  6. ABCya12

    Admiring the time and effort you put into your site and in depth information you provide.
    It’s good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the
    same outdated rehashed information. Excellent read!
    I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to
    my Google account.

    Reply
  7. prefab container homes

    You must benefit from the same premium call quality as if your caller is sitting right beside you.
    This is obviously not the perfect case for anyone, so if
    you’ll need to rent that storage to get a shorter duration, definitely allow company know so they can offer you
    a right plan. The unit must be necessarily totally free of rodents, insects, or any other intrusions that might show to
    be fatal to the goods.

    Reply
  8. Bangla Matrimony

    Having read this I thought it was very enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this informative article together.
    I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and posting comments.

    But so what, it was still worth it!

    Reply
  9. Rhea

    Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed!
    Very helpful info particularly the last part 🙂 I care for such info
    much. I was seeking this certain information for a very long
    time. Thank you and best of luck.

    Reply
  10. 35 cash

    Magnificent beat ! I wish to apprentice even as you amend your website, how can i subscribe for a weblog website?
    The account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered vibrant clear idea

    Reply
  11. Movie Awards

    Movie award-winner, is the latest on a growing list of actresses making their way to Broadway in 2015. She will play Rachel Silverman`s older sister Charlotte at The New York Theatre Workshop and co write her own musicals with Julie Taymor for American Music Hall Of Fame Producer Lee Balzer Productions.

    Reply
  12. Movies Navigator

    Movies like john wick, michael jackson and many more are just too good to pass up. I don`t even think that the cast will be able find a way around it for us because of all of our other experiences with porn now on Youtube I am sure we would get some really funny stuff in there lol.” “They already have an audience who can handle them…however i wish they kept going down their own path but hey maybe next year”

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *