Google Classroom– Google Classroom is a learning management system for teachers and students. Google Classroom is one of the easiest ways to get started with a digital classroom and its most basic components. It does not have some of the assessment and grading features that other LMS’s have, but teachers new to this platform and to 1:1 implementation will learn to assign and collect assignments, track progress and provide feedback in no time.
Literacy Shed– A valuable source of animations and illustrations that make incredible writing and discussion prompts. Some of the site’s affordances are that the clips are generally short and highly engaging. In my experience, the clips do well to evoke though and emotion. One restraint that comes to mind when working with Literacy Shed however, is that it is a bit difficult to search for very specific content.
Planbook– Planbook is definitely one of my favorite online tools for teaching and planning. It is an online lesson planning resource that allows teachers to collaborate on lesson planning and keep it all in one place. Planbook allows for the attachment of standards, homework links, special events, and much more. The site stores all of your lessons and makes it easy to transfer and adjust them from year to year. One improvement I hope to see with Planbook in the future is the ability for teacher to work on the same set of plans together. As it is right now, teachers can work on separate components and then share. However, it would be a bit more efficient if they could work together to avoid redundancy.
Socrative– Promote collaboration, problem-solving and engagement with this dynamic assessment tool. Pre-populate questions or use it on the fly; either way, students receive instant feedback and Socrative stores all of the results for later reference. Socrative does not offer some of the more engaging graphic features that other interactive assessment tools offer, but it is easy to use and great for someone new to online formative assessment tools.
Speechnotes– Is an online notebook with speech-to-text capability. This has been an invaluable resource for my struggling readers and writers. Removing the hassle of writing or typing allows them to focus solely on what they have to say. Students just press record and speak into the computer and Speechnotes puts it down as text. Students can also speak for punctuation and go back to edit. When students are finished recording, they can copy and paste the text or download it a a Google Doc. As it is now, the interface is a little clunky and doesn’t offer a lot aesthetically, but it gets the job done.
Twitter– Twitter is one of the best ways to build your Professional Learning Network. It allows people from all over the globe connect and share ideas and resources. Hashtags allow you to narrow and focus your feeds so that you follow the people, ideas, and trends that are of interest to you. It can be difficult to keep up with the vast amounts of information flooding through your feed, but using Tweet Deck allows you to organize and focus the tweets you see.