Mid-Year Tech Refresh!
The school year that will never end...
Okay, we know that's not really true, but it has seemed like an eternity since we started school last fall! This post isn't to remind us of WHY it seems that way... I just want to share some new tips, tools, and strategies I've learned (or revisited) over the last couple of months to help you get through the rest of the school year with a little more enthusiasm. 😉
Some of the tools I share below aren't necessarily new, but they are ones that have moved to the top my to-do list! If you already use these, check out these podcasts to find something else you might be needing.
Shake Up Learning Show, Episode 95 [EPIC Digital Tools I Can't Live Without]
House of Edtech, Episode 170 [2020 Smackdown]
Cult of Pedagogy, Episode 161 [6 Ed Tech Tools to Try in 2021]
Top 5 Tools to Checkout!
1. Mote [justmote.me]
Mote "enables voice note feedback within Google Classroom, Docs, Sheets, and Slides. It's a Chrome Extension that makes it easy for anyone to add voice notes and feedback to documents and assignments." It is a "free-mium" program, so you can still get unlimited recordings that are 30 seconds or shorter.
2. Glide [glideapps.com]
My friend Jen Hall showed me this at least a year ago, and I haven't made the time to give it a try yet. She created an app for herself using this site and it's awesome (check it out here)! You can build an app right from Google Sheets. You have to see it to believe it!
This one is also "free-mium", so see what works for you.
3. Jamboard [jamboard.google.com]
A lot of people are hopping on the Jamboard waggon, with good reasons! It is a really valuable tool, especially right now where so many of us are working with student in person and virtually at the same time. This is one way you can still work together simutaneously. I didn't feel the need to explore it that much until they added the feature of inserting your own background. This adds an entire level of usefulness! Creating your own background in Google Slides is the perfect way to personalize your Jamboards. Let your imagination run with all the possibilities! Check out Jake Miller's post on how to create your own along with the posts below the video.
If you still haven't given this a try, you must! It's not new to me, but I have to have it on my list of things for other people to try ALWAYS! They keep adding new features to make it even better (not that it needs improvements). Did I mention that it's free?! I have tons of collections to check out if you need ideas. Create an account and follow other educators to see how they use it in their schools/classrooms.
5. Wizer.me [https://wizer.me/]
"Create unforgettable worksheets that grade themselves. Win your time back - and end overwhelming and late night prep - with fun, easy-to-make, interactive worksheets students love." Even though they are called "worksheets" I like to think of this as more of a #hyperdoc, so it's way more engaging and purposeful than a regular worksheet. Even if you upgrade, the pricing is pretty reasonable at $35 a year!
Key Features you get for free:
✓ Unlimited question types
✓ Up to 5 differentiation custom rules
✓ Audio teaching instructions
✓ Audio student answers
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I'm an Innovative Learning Coordinator in Berkeley County South Carolina and a Google Certified Trainer.