Sending a teacher to ISTE 2019 makes bringing a toddler to Target seem like a sane idea. WeAreTeachers is thrilled to be here at ISTE in Philadelphia this year. For those of you overwhelmed by it all (and you peeps who couldn’t come this year), we’re trying our hardest to curate the coolest EdTech tools you can use in your classroom. Here are a few of our favorites:
1. Soundtrap: Your Everywhere Studio
You know how your room is always so quiet you can hear a pin drop? Okay, okay, stop laughing. If you’ve ever tried to get kids to record things but can’t hear because of the classroom roar, check this out. Soundtrap is just what it says, a tool to trap sound. It’s an insulated box that you put a laptop and microphone inside. That way kids can record a podcast or mix music without the background noise of the classroom. How cool is that? It also lets kids collaborate, like in a Google Doc but with sound and music. It’s got cool features, like transcription and auto-highlight for reading text, and it can even locate names and delete them to make it anonymous!
2. bulb : Digital Portfolios
Saving and showcasing student work has so many benefits. You can see their growth and process, and understand how much effort has gone into each school year. bulb lets you put the effort into the schoolwork instead of the showcasing. It’s free for teachers, which means that you set up a portfolio of the cool lessons and templates you create in and for your classroom. The program is intuitive and includes drag-and-drop protocols that mean even the youngest kindergartener can independently save, store, and showcase their work.
3. Buncee: Create, Present and Share Multimedia
See ya later, tri-fold poster reports! Buncee ups the presentation game 1000 percent. This tool lets students (and anyone else for that matter) share material in the way that showcases it best. Teachers can use it for lessons, principals can use it to make staff meetings more engaging and useful, and students can showcase their learning like never before. Want to make a video? Click video, record, and then watch it embed right into the slideshow. Feel like using illustrated images that tell their own story? Insert the images you want from their seemingly endless library and then tag each one with a recording of your voice, explaining why you used the image. There’s animation, text play, and endless storytelling possibilities that students can use to make sure you understand their thinking and learning.
4. Nearpod: Customizable Lessons that Bring the World into Your Classroom
Nearpod brings together many EdTech tools into one powerful engagement tool for your classroom. They have hundreds of lessons ready for teachers to use for free. Just pull up the lesson you want to teach, give kids the code to access the lesson on their own devices, and get ready for the ride. Kids can watch Flocabulary’s Week in Rap to learn about what’s happening in the world, and you can stop and send students questions to keep them invested in the learning. The free Silver Edition includes cool add-ons, like Time to Climb, which creates a leveling game that gets kids begging for more quiz questions. Want to learn more? Check out their free webinars and Facebook group to get all the training you need to be a tech pro. They’ve even got certified training coursework to help you grow all year long.
5. edpuzzle : Make Any Video Your Lesson
Ever assign a cool video on YouTube for your students to watch? There are so many issues associated with this practice, from all the other videos that pop up to the fact that kids don’t always know how to process what they watch. Let edpuzzle give you the power of the video and the structure a teacher needs. With this app, you pull in the url for a video you want your students to watch, but it’s there the similarities end. You can stop students from skipping to the end, add questions they need to respond to throughout the video, voice over parts or the entire video, and even remind students to keep watching when it gets too long.
We know it’s hard to choose just a few new EdTech tools to test out in your classroom, so we hope this helps. If you’re at ISTE and want to share other cool tools, please tag us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. We love learning from you!