Online Applications to enhance your teaching.
iPads are very nice and if you get the chance I would never pass up the opportunity to utilize them to enhance the learning experience of your students.
What if, like many schools, you are not in the position to offer this type of technology.
Here are some online applications that can be used with a laptop or PC. I speak from personal experience that staff who now include these in their lessons are feeling more inspired and demonstrating an increase in creativity.
Having your own You tube account enables you to store all sorts of multimedia resources for free. The creation of a link that can be passed to your students also makes it a very efficient way to share information or create screen casts /movies. I have found this particularly useful when using a flipped learning technique with my classes. On top of this, it is very important to ask students to create ‘educational’ YouTube accounts. This means that all the new ‘work’ they create has a visual medium to facilitate sharing between peers and the teacher. YouTube as a creativity medium is very powerful.
‘Socrative is a smart student response system that empowers teachers to engage their classrooms through a series of educational exercises and games via smartphones, laptops, and tablets.’
Socrative is an excellent ‘assessment for learning’ tool and works like a class set of voting hand sets. A teacher can set a quiz and have the answers from students graphically represented for feedback and to display if required. This can be done on the spot or teachers can pre-load a quiz that can be assessed straight away.
One of my favorite applications, Edmodo, is superb as a tool for peers to interact in a safe and secure manner. The ability to question staff and students, when faced with an academic problem, has proved supportive to learning particularly during homework time. This feature is enhanced by the storage of resources in the Edmodo library and interaction with assignments set. I have found the collaborative skills the students develop through their online interactions are then verbally mirrored in the classroom.
Popplet allows students to individually or collaboratively summarise learning and make connections between the levels of their learning. It can also be used in class or as a homework exercise.
Dropbox is a cloud based memory store that is available on every internet device. The ability to access information anytime, anywhere is truly powerful in the learning environment. Dropbox can also act as a workflow solution with shared folders between teacher and students.The first 2GB is free.
I’ve included twitter in this list as Learning has always been based on exposure to new stimuli, research and communication. Ideas are formulated through external opinion, reflection and conclusion. The availability of these components lead to increased productivity and informed decisions. Twitter makes the process easier.
We are all learning together. If you have a problem, your PLN (Personal Learning Network) may be able to solve it. If you are struggling for ideas, there are people to ask.
I’ve shared these applications based on personal experience. If you use these apps and would like to add your experience please do. If you haven’t tried them, I recommend you give them a go.