Guest Post by Veronica Johnson
Edtech is growing and, fortunately enough, teachers can still jump on the bandwagon and utilize the latest arsenal of tools. Believe it or not, educational technology is easy and simple if you know where to look for it and it will definitely help you when dealing with everyday teaching struggles. It is ultimately a weapon to develop your students in ways that are hardly achievable without it. Now that the student lifestyle is digitally-focused, the usage of technology in educational system is actually necessary to create powerful lectures which fit with the needs of the younger generations. And for teachers who are not tech savvy, it is a huge, but very achievable leap forward.
So how do teachers make that leap?
Well, the best thing to do is to start simple. Embracing technology happens one step at a time and it’s best to take a methodical approach that will provide the most bang for the buck. Starting with simple, free tools that improve individual processes is the best for introducing yourself to classroom technology integration. Here are the top starting tools for teachers in the 2016-17 school year:
With Quizstar you can manage classes and quickly create online quizzes for your students. Also, you can attach almost any multimedia file to a question and even access your quizzes from any online device. In the end, all you needed is for your students to complete a quiz, after which you can automatically grade them and share the quiz results online.
Pollcode is a straightforward tool for spicing up those lectures, as it lets you easily create and customize student polls. Just type in a question and receive up to 30 possible answers. The app lets you customize the pools with your own colors, fonts and other neat features. When you’re done, you will get the code so you can share it directly with your students.
This is one of those tools that can never get old. It’s notorious among the students as it lets you analyze a part (or a whole text) for any duplicate content. Simply copy and paste the content and with a click of a button scan the entire article for plagiarism content. If the tool finds stolen content, phrases or sentences, it will paint them red.
EasyTestMaker is a free online test generator, that is a must have tool for a beginner edtech enthusiast. It can help you create and manage tests, completely online. You can create multiple choice answers, fill-in-the-blank tests, true or false questions and much more. The published online tests are graded automatically and you can check reports quickly to see how many questions your students got right or wrong.
PDF to Powerpoint
A great teacher tool for creating PowerPoint presentations out of older PDF lectures. With a click of a button, you can convert any PDF file directly to .pptx format, saving your precious time on automating manual retyping and retaining the formatting of the source document. It is completely free and comes with an integrated OCR engine, which means that you can convert both scanned and native PDFs. Truly, a helpful tool for all teachers creating digital presentations.
This is a simple online app that will make you more productive and stress-free. It is based on the Pomodoro Technique, which states that you need to take short breaks from time to time. TomatoTimer is, as the name says, a timer that signals you to take a break in your work. The break lasts for 5 minutes, so take that time to relax and think of a way to make your classes even better.
Students need for knowledge is constantly growing and for teachers, this is a good thing. We are witnessing an evolution in education, taking place as you read this. With proper mindset, we can take control of it and use it to create a win-win situation — a place where the students are engaged and eager to learn. And with the proper use of technology, that is all but impossible.
Looking for even more tools? Check out our lists of teacher resources here!