Ed Tech RoundUp
Michael Karlin, a biology and technology teacher from Kansas put together this blog as a resource for teachers to have access to the latest and greatest tech tools for the classroom. Karlin reviews various tech resources and tools and provides and summary and feedback for others. In one review he take a look at PebbleGo from Capstone, a research tool for early learners. The state of Delaware has a PebbleGo subscription for free through UDLibSearch. We use PebbleGo frequently with our first and second graders, as well as our struggling readers. PebbleGo makes researching topics easy and the program will read to the students. There are a lot of wonderful images, videos, and quick activities as well. Happy Numbers is a wonderful site that offers interactive math games for students. Teachers can create an account and then add students to classes. They have the option of assigning students various lessons. As a teacher you can track their progress and proficiency. This is set up for the primary grades, but could be used for struggling learners as well. ClassHub is a class management program. This is a paid service, but offers features such as Screen Peak, Screen Sharing, Lock in App capability, and more. This is would be a great tool for a library media specialist or middle/high school teacher to have. I think that teachers who use a lot of technology would enjoy this blog. There is a wide range of topics covered from primary to high school.
Free Technology for Teachers
Richard Byrne, a former high school social studies teacher from Maine, is well known for the creation of his blog, Free Technology for Teachers. He is a certified Google Teacher and his blog has won many awards. The blog was designed to share information about free resources that teachers can use in their classroom. In one of his posts he compares two similar tools, Diigo and Google Keep. I had used Diigo in the past with students. It is a tool that allows the user to highlight and make notes on a live web page. You save your edits using the toolbar app and can then access them the next time you return to that site. Google Keep is a new Google Extension that also allows user to make notes and highlights on a page. I think this would be easier as it is a part of the Google family and our Chromebooks use that same system. He also mentions Otus, a learning/classroom management system that allows users to generate and analyze student data in order to make decisions on students improvement. It is also a paid subscription, but you can try it for free. Screencastify and Nimbus are two more tools that he compares. Screencastify allows you to record, live, your computer screen. It is like a video of everything you are doing on your screen with audio and visual. Nimbus, the Google Extension has a free version, but not as good as Screencastify. This blog offers wonderful posts for teachers who are looking for free resources to incorporate into their classroom. Byrne includes a lot of great videos and tutorials to help as well.
My Paperless Classroom
My Paperless Classroom blog was created by Sam Patterson and educator, podcaster, and puppeteer. Patterson’s blog looks a little different than a lot of blogs I have been too before. It is set up more like a traditional website, which can be good. He organizes the page by topics or categories and includes links/videos that relate particularly to that topic. For example, one hot topic is STEM Education. Below you can see what that section of his site looks like.
There are a lot of options to explore there and you can see more by choosing one of the subcategories at the top. STEM and coding are two popular things in education right now. I think Patterson provides a lot of great resources for both novice and experienced teachers. He even includes how-tos and tutorials for setting up websites and blogs as well as product reviews. His page is a great resource for library media specialists to have linked to their website. I think a lot of teachers would be happy to take a look at some of the things he has included.