The arrival of August can shift our thoughts back to the classroom. But before you head back to your students this fall, take some time to check out these websites that can make your teaching experience easier and help you engage students in new ways.
The BAM Radio Network founded in 2007, remains a growing, timely, and practical resource for teachers, parents, leaders, and others. Their website is full of great material and has links to their blog, a massive podcast library, and all of the nearly 50 radio channels they offer for educators covering topics like ed tech, school culture, blended learning, and so much more. Whatever your interest is, they probably have a channel for it. You can create your own playlist of podcasts or subscribe to a topic. If you have never explored BAM, take some time to do it before school starts up.
It isn’t new, but it gets better all the time. And it’s free. Available for nearly any platform, OneNote can be indispensable in juggling time and info—for students and teachers. The website OneNote in Education has sections for teachers, students, and administrators. If you’re new to OneNote, the website will guide you, and if you’re used to using OneNote, the site can teach you new tricks. The OneNote in Education Blog has several great posts on using OneNote in differentiation, with special needs students, and more.
The ten apps found on Futuba Classroom Games for Kids are creative, informative, and full of customizable options to fit many elementary school settings. Like the geography questions but want to add some local sites? It’s easy to do. These are multiplayer learning games that get kids involved on many levels—students can even take pictures and create their own flashcards. Teachers can change it up during the school year by inserting new question sets.
4. Periodic Table of Apps
If you missed it last year, Sean Junkin’s Periodic Table of iPad Apps is more than a funky play on the original Periodic Table—it’s full of app ideas for teachers sorted by use, topic, and audience that is practical as well as pretty. Yes, it is a poster, not an app, but the apps shown are easily found online and sure to be helpful for all grade levels. SeansDesk.com is a blog full of interesting thoughts, projects, and ideas from a creative school tech expert. Download the table and explore all the options it shows—you will find some you never knew and will be happy to use.
Wish you could walk away from the front of the class and still show slides and videos, write on the board, and more? A powerful interactive tool for classrooms, Doceri is an app for iPad and Windows tablets as well as Mac and PC desktops. It enables you to share and create print and video materials, manage presentations remotely, use it as a whiteboard, share lessons on social media, and lots more. The single use intro level is free. Other versions include classroom management and training for teachers on how to best use the software, with new features on the way.
Classrooms are quickly filling with digital natives, and they want to learn to make apps themselves. Teachers don’t need to have all the answers to help, just great resources. CODE.org can help teachers find those resources and has some exciting ideas for getting kids started. They even offer free training sessions for educators at many sites around the country. Programming codes are languages that students need to gain fluency in, and learning them is now far more approachable with all the marvelous apps to help. Learn about the movement to get kids involved on the CODE.org website, then check out Get Your Students Coding with These 20 iPad Apps by Jon Samuelson (iPadSammy) of Technlandia Radio.
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