As an educator, how many EdTech Tools do you use during lessons?
Technology has proven to be an integral part of our day-to-day activities, especially as it regards education. Whether physical or online, educators use technology tools to help support students’ academic, social, and behavioral needs.
As at the time of writing, there are over 50 educational technology tools (popularly known as EdTech Tools), including websites and mobile apps, that educators can maximize to ensure a smooth teaching and learning process.
Below are some of the best EdTech Tools to boost students’ collaboration.
Ever since the coronavirus outbreak, you must have heard a lot of “Let’s do a zoom meeting,” which is a common-day phrase for “staff meeting.” Zoom has become one of the best EdTech tools because it makes video conferencing easy, effective, and engaging for students and staff alike across the world. It offers collaboration features such as one-click content sharing, real-time co-annotation, room breakouts, and digital white-boarding.
Zoom’s Breakout Rooms help students work together with one another in small discussion groups. In other words, teachers can utilize the breakout room feature to facilitate intimate and interactive activities among students. Teachers can also navigate through breakout rooms to check-in on the progress of students, just like in a physical classroom.
In addition to that, Zoom creates a fun learning environment for students, and allows educators to record their live classes or pre-record lessons, which is helpful to those working under a hybrid learning model.
Kahoot is a game-based learning platform used for quiz-like learning, facilitating discussions, and creating surveys. Students can play learning games called “Kahoots” directly via a web browser or the Kahoot mobile app. A teacher can introduce new concepts and have students take user-generated multiple-choice quizzes. If educators do not want to make a quiz, they can search through millions of public Kahoots to play or remix. This does not only help students collaborate but also keeps them meaningfully engaged.
Another great feature of Kahoot is that it has a “team mode” feature that allows students to collaborate while playing the game. It allows teachers to easily import or create slides and combine them with various question types in one seamless interactive lesson. Educators can also host games live via videoconferencing or send self-paced games to students to facilitate distance learning – this makes it a fantastic student collaboration tool. And just like Zoom, educators can assess class learning progress and derive students’ formative assessments by using analytics from game reports.
Flipgrid is one of the numerous products from Microsoft. It is a video-enabled platform that is 100% free for educators and learners. Educators can create ‘grids’, which are like classrooms for learners, and then introduce several discussion topics. In turn, students can respond and interact with short videos—including photos, emojis, text, etc—to express their views.
Teachers can also permit students to record replies to classmates’ responses. This facilitates interactive learning, collaboration, motivates students to contribute, and sustains engagement during lessons.
FlipGrid also allows educators to use ready resources, subject-specific topics from other educators around the world. It has a user-friendly interface, so it is highly recommended for young school children and college grads. In all, this is one of the many versatile EdTech Tools that allows educators to foster collaboration online without encountering ads during lessons.
Padlet is another amazing EdTech tool that is user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing. With this tool, students can collect information from the internet and attach it to virtual bulletin boards—including texts, links, videos, images, etc. Students can also upload notes or complete assignments. It is a great collaboration tool because students can learn on their own and at their own pace while sharing their perspectives on a topic.
Padlet is also an easy way to enable learners to interact with each other. With the board’s feature on Padlet, teachers can break a class into smaller study groups – for class projects or for further private learning. Educators can use it as a form of formative assessment to track students’ understanding of a topic. And it is compatible with subjects that have creativity or research components.
This list will not be complete without Google Classroom. This is one of the most common EdTech Tools because it is free, and most young school children are familiar with their already-existing email and presentation tools. Teachers can then create a Google Classroom for any course/subject and invite students. The integrated Google Drive can contain all necessary links, images, lessons, videos, and more. Students can also collaborate using Google’s suite of free apps, such as Google Sheets, Google Docs, Google Slides. Teachers can give assignments and interact with students while working via the comment section.
Google Classroom makes group projects easier to manage, both for teachers and students. It also allows both parties to integrate other apps for additional functionality in the learning process and work from any device conveniently.
Other EdTech Tools worthy of mention are:
- Minecraft for education
It is almost impossible to select the best EdTech tools when there are so many wonderful ones available. The EdTech Tools mentioned above are just some of the exciting digital resources out there. Whether your students are learning in person, in a hybrid model, or completely online, take a look at these top technology tools. They are sure to guarantee a smooth learning experience for your students and an exciting teaching period for you as an educator.
Note: Parents and guardians who are tech-savvy are also advised to help their ward(s) get familiar with these EdTech tools.