As a teacher, you are charged with a great responsibility: to equip the young people, the future of the world and the next generation. A lifetime ago, information was hard to find on anything. People did most things instinctively, superstitiously or based on their beliefs. However, in today's age, information is everywhere. In fact, one can say that information is at our fingertips. All because of technological advancements.
As such, the lives of many people have become so intertwined with technology. Therefore, a question arises about whether technology has a part it can play in classrooms? Can technology improve the education process or the learning environment of classrooms? The answer is yes. It has therefore become imperative for teachers to be conversant with edtech tools and websites in order to be truly effective in passing down knowledge.
Reasons why teachers should embrace the use of edtech tools and websites
- In a world where people make their living via technology or technological skills, it is vital for teachers to help students to understand how technology works and how it can help with their dreams and future.
- Teachers can use technology to encourage students to work together in teams. Since technology allows access to different people in different places, students can work together online without having to go to each other's houses.
- Money can be saved on educational infrastructure and resources if educational technology is integrated heavily into the educational system.
- While some textbooks quickly go out of date because of new information, educational technology can be easily and quickly updated, unlike these textbooks which will have to be bought all over again.
The best free edtech tools
LiveBinders is a great online resource that can help students to find materials that they might need for reading, assignments and homework without having to go to the library or asking their teachers for help. LiveBinders is also a great tool for teachers because it allows them to organize the materials they share based on the timeline and curriculum the classroom is following. As such, teachers can add new materials online after a topic has been covered in the classroom for students to study.
Have you ever had that experience where you're trying to think of an idea for your project or assignment and you just feel like pulling your hair out? SpiderScribe is the best tool to help teachers and students brainstorm about projects, assignments and papers. You can also add images which you can organize, connect or link together. If a student is having problems understanding something, SpiderScribe also helps to give ideas that they’ve written down in visual representation. Students and teachers can access one account so collaboration is also very possible for group work.
You can download textbooks, literature texts and audio books on almost every subject on Gutenberg as eBooks. With over 54,000 eBooks available for free download, students can easily find books for their assignments and projects and teachers can easily find teaching aids and eBooks that simplify topics.
As the name implies, RealWorldMath brings mathematics to real life using Google Maps and SketchUp. Teachers can create interactive activities in 3D to engage students with interactive and digital representation of math problems and mathematical application. It is a great tool for making students realize that what they're being taught is relevant to their lives.
Remind is a great app that ensures that students, teachers and parents can communicate without the exchange of private information like phone numbers. With this application, teachers can send messages to parents and students alike of schedule changes, updates, reminders and important questions. And students and parents can also do the same.
The best free educational websites
Triptico is a great educational site that offers you a number of tools and resources to manage your students and engage them. The site offers a wide range of activities in form of tools, timers, selectors and quizzes which teachers can experiment with, to give their students the best learning experience.
With SMMRY, you can get a summary of any text gotten from an eBook or web page. The tool is easy to use and all you have to do is copy the text to be summarized and paste into the empty text box on the page and hit the summarize button. You will get your summary in the exact number of sentences you specified when submitting the text for summary. SMMRY also has a bookmark widget with which you can summarize web pages without copying their text.
This is the best site for teachers that seek to use YouTube videos to teach their students. Why? Because when you open a YouTube video, different types of ads popup which you may not want your students to see. But by pasting the video link on ViewPure, you get a purified ad and clutter-free video with which you can teach your students. You can also use the ViewPure widget to purify videos without even going to the ViewPure site.
Google Earth is a great site to help teachers to teach students about different locations in the world. Teachers can also use Google Earth to explain difficult location-centered concepts and even historical or current global events.
This is a tool that allows you to add audio components to your text set. This way your text set is dynamic with articles, images and audio. Listenwise has a variety of radio broadcasts on different topics which can be used to enhance learning. The link to audio recordings on the site can also be shared with students.
Technology is a great way to bring life to your classroom. It provides an exciting way in which you can engage your students and make them feel like they belong to something. It also prepares them for the technology they're sure to meet later on in future.