The digital tool doesn’t make the class, but it does help to have some good ones handy.
Sometimes, just finding a new digital tool can open up new opportunities for you and your students.
I collect new tools from interactions on Twitter, from reading blog posts and from face-to-face interactions with other educators. When I hear something I like, I put it in a note in my Google Keep. (Don’t know about Google Keep? It’s a great organizational tool.)
Here are nine of them I’ve run across recently that could make a difference in your classroom:
1. ClipChamp (clipchamp.com) — Video projects can be great learning experiences. (In fact, this post I wrote about video projects is one of my most popular all-time.) Turning in those video projects can be a hassle. If you don’t have an idea established, consider ClipChamp. It lets you upload video quickly and easily to share. Students can upload their video projects, make video files smaller and share them to YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo or Google Drive.
2. OrangeSlice: Teacher Rubric (Google Docs add-on) — This add-on makes creating rubrics in Google Docs easy and fast. Once you install the add-on in your document, use OrangeSlice to write the rubric (or choose a pre-made one) and then start grading. It also shows student progress from the initial grading.
3. BoomWriter (boomwriter.com) — BoomWriter makes the writing process visual and engaging. It has three sections: StoryWriter, ProjectWriter and WordWriter. In StoryWriter, students write a story in an illustrated digital book. They can later order real published copies of their books. ProjectWriter is a platform for non-fiction group writing projects. WordWriter makes vocabulary fun and interactive.
4. Nearpodize this! (Chrome extension) — Presentation slides are good for delivering content, but interactive slides are great! Nearpodize this! lets you make a Google Slides presentation interactive, just like Nearpod makes slides interactive. The teacher controls how quickly to advance through slides, and Nearpod provides interactive elements that students can use on their own devices.
5. StoryJumper (storyjumper.com) — StoryJumper is a bit like BoomWriter’s StoryWriter tool. StoryJumper is a simple story-writing platform that even the youngest writers can use. Add scenes and photos to your text to make an eye-catching picture book. Books can be shared with others, and published copies can be ordered.
6. Hemingway App (hemingwayapp.com) — If students do any writing for you, Hemingway App may become your first line of defense against poor grammar. When students write, they can copy and paste the text from their writing into the page at Hemingway App. The site instantly analyzes their writing for wordy sentences, passive voice, complicated words and more. It even shows what grade level the student is writing on!
7. Storyboard That (storyboardthat.com) — Storytelling can be fun, but creating a story without a plan can be complicating — and confusing for the reader! StoryboardThat lets students create storyboards to organize their stories or their thinking. It taps into Creative Commosn photos and lets students use posable characters. Students drag and drop elements into their layouts.
8. LEGO Movie Maker (iTunes) — Stop motion animation can be a fun, creative way to express ideas. Students can use this app as well as their LEGOs (or anything else) to create videos easily. Shoot images, edit them in the app, add music and produce your movie. A new feature lets students shoot a new frame of the movie by simply snapping their fingers.
9. Quizizz (quizizz.com) — I’ve used and loved Kahoot! for a while (and still do), but I like Quizizz’s take on multiplayer gamified assessment. (By the way, have you seen my 10 ways to electrify class with Kahoot!?) Create multiple-choice questions (or choose a set of questions from Quizizz) and give students the game code so they can join. Students work at their own pace through questions and watch themselves move up and down the leaderboard as they answer questions. It’s a lot of fun!
[reminder]What are your go-to digital tools right now? Which of these do you think you’re most likely to use?[/reminder]
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