11 Tech Tools Every Teacher Should Know About
When it comes to technology, a teacher can’t have enough tools in their toolbox. Check out our list of 11 tech tools for teachers. You probably won’t use these sites or apps every single day, but they really come in handy when you need them. All of these tools are designed to help you solve a problem.
Problem: Need to share large files
There are times when you need to send a large file to someone. A file way too big to send via email. WeTransfer can help. The free service allows you to upload 2gb of files to their site. Then, enter your email, the recipients email address, and a short message. WeTransfer will send them a link to download those files. The link is valid for two weeks then the files are deleted.
See also: DropSend.com | Filemail.com
Problem: Need to download a video from a streaming site
Need to show a YouTube video in class but can’t access YouTube inside your district? KeepVid.com is your answer. Paste the URL of the video into their site, then click download. You’ll be presented with a variety of options to download the movie right to your hard drive. This is great for filtering issues and also works well if you are giving a presentation, but are unsure if you’ll have Internet access when you present. Hit up Keepvid.com, download the video, then embed it into your presentation. KeepVid works with 45 different online media sites so you should have no trouble finding what you need.
Problem: Need to edit or convert a PDF
PDFs are awesome right? Unless of course you need to edit them. Enter SmallPDF.com. This free site allows you to perform a variety of tasks related to PDFs. You can convert them to Word, Excel or Powerpoint for easy editing. You can combine existing PDFs into one single file or split large PDFs into smaller ones. As the tagline says, they make PDF easy.
Problem: Need create a stylish quiz or poll
Looking to make a quick poll or survey that is easy for people to access and even easier to share the results? Take a look at Riddle.com. The interface is very friendly. It takes almost no time to start creating your first poll, quiz, list, etc. Add a title, some images, and your questions. Once you’ve created your new “riddle”, choose the colors, font and language that suite your needs. Then click finish and begin collecting responses. So simple, yet so slick! If you haven’t tried Riddle yet, take five minute to check it out right now.
Problem: Need a better way to manage links
Symbaloo is a visual collection of links that you can organize into groups on the screen or tabs across the top. For example, you could create a Symbaloo tab for each one of your classes or grade levels. The visual aspect of this site makes it great for young learners. You control the colors, icons, etc all from the setting tab. Symbaloo is a fantastic solution both as a start page for your browser and a resource for your students.
See also: Netvibes
Problem: Need to save time by automating some processes
IFTTT stands for If This, Then That. Its a collection of “recipes” that allow individual services to work together. For example, there are recipes for saving every picture you tweet to your Google Drive. While there is a bit of a learning curve, the automation that you create is amazing.
Windows Snipping Tool
Problem: Need to capture what’s on the screen
The Windows snipping tool allow you to take a quick capture of whatever is on your computer screen. You can choose to grab the whole screen, just the open window, or a free form selection. Its one of those lesser known free tools that have been built into Windows for years. To use it, simply look on your Start Menu under Accessories or just type in “snipping” in the search bar on the menu.
Problem: Need an easy way to clean up a photo or image
PicMonkey is online photo editing made easy. Upload your photo and use the tools on the left hand to make adjustments. For those of use who are not designers, this quick and effective way to make your photos stand out.
Problem: Need certain semi-hidden characters
There are hundreds of hidden characters in standard word processor that never get used because the keyboard shortcuts to find them are difficult to remember. CopyPastCharacter gives you access to all of them with a click of the mouse. Use the drop down menu to find the character set you are looking for (mathematics, punctuation, etc) then click on it to copy it to the clip. Now, head back to your document and hit cntl-V to paste the symbol into your document.
Problem: Need to verify what you read/heard
Everyone gets those emails from a friend describing the latest Internet firestorm. Some of my favorite include: “The government going to start taxing email!” or “Look at this amazing 15ft long snake a woman found in her bathtub!”. Snopes is a site dedicated to debunking those urban legends. While some of these do have real merit, many are just misinformation or scams. The site tells you how factual these emails are and how the rumor came to be. Next time you receive a crazy email, head over to Snopes and do a quick search before sending it on to a friend or contacting your district’s IT department. You might be surprised at what you find.
Problem: Need to shrink files down to a smaller size without losing quality
When you take a picture with your smart phone or digital camera, often times the size is much larger than you need it to be. A standard photo can be anywhere from 3mb to 8mb. TinyPNG will shrink the file by removing unused color and photo information from the image without affecting the quality. Most times, you cannot even see the difference in the photo. This is a great resource when you are posting photos online or in a presentation. Shrink them first to keep file sizes down allowing for a faster viewing experience for your audience.
Did we miss your favorite tool? Let us know in the comments below!