Ambitious combinations of technology and curriculum can be difficult for teachers to implement. An epic challenge to overcome in bringing proven technology-based innovations to larger numbers of schools, classrooms, and students is before us. It is a labor of love for most of us teachers, as we are overworked and under-appreciated and many of us spend our own money, time and energy to improve our student’s educations. The idea of mobile learning touches on just about every subject that any technology addresses: digital citizenship, content-knowledge, internet safety laws, bring-your-own-device policies, school budgets and professional development. I wanted to share some of the mobile tools, both old and new, on the market that can help teachers share educational resources and access school-related data directly from their smart phones or tablets. Here are 29 Teacher Tools for Leveraging Technology:
1. Google Alerts are emails sent to you when Google finds new results — such as web pages, newspaper articles, or blogs — that match your search term. You can use Google Alerts to monitor anything on the Web. Educators enter keywords or phrases they need for their lessons and Google emails them an alert each time that keyword appears in a news report, website or blog post.
2. Google Scholar offers teachers a simple way to access scholarly literature that can be cited in their lesson plans. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research.
3. Google Calendar organizes your schedule with its online calendar; it’s easy to keep track of life’s important events all in one place. It enables users to invite other teachers, parents or administrators to events, include student’s birthdays, field trips and test dates and send reminders directly to their cell phone.
4. Google Docs is an online word processor that lets you create and format text documents and collaborate with other people in real time. Create new documents, spreadsheets, and presentations on your own or share and collaborate with others in real time. All your changes are saved automatically in Drive. There isn’t even a save button.
5. Google Translate is a free and easy service that provides instant translations between dozens of different languages. It can translate words, sentences and web pages between any combinations of our supported languages.
6. Google Earth is a great tool for geography and social studies teachers to give students a birds-eye view of the places they are studying. Google Maps for Education provides resources to help teachers and students explore, create, and collaborate with mapping tools. Students who are taught geography are better equipped to understand how human and physical systems interact and to make informed decisions based on that knowledge.
7. TeacherTube has all the resources you need to know about math, art, educational videos, economics, physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, finance, history, and more. The goal of TeacherTube was to create an online site that allowed teachers to create instructional videos that will benefit their colleagues, as well as their students. There seems to be a need for more educationally based websites that will better the education of current teachers, “teachers teaching teachers”. The YouTube for teachers, TeacherTube is the perfect place to find educational videos to use in lessons, tutorials or classroom instruction.
8. Backboard is a simple way to share and gather feedback about your documents, images, or websites. Backboard works like this, upload your document, image, or insert the URL to your webpage. Backboard then hosts your project on a page on which visitors can leave you feedback. It has additional features, such as real-time feedback, email reports and hidden feedback options.
9. SchoolRack lets you create a free classroom website or educational blog to keep students, parents, and others informed outside of class. This is a free tool for a teacher that allows them to easily and quickly create interactive portals and parent/student mailing lists.
10. Edmodo is designed to get students excited about learning in a familiar environment. Like a Twitter for teachers, this app was created specifically for classroom use. Features include a classroom calendar, micro-blogging, file and link sharing, assignments and grading functions. With Edmodo, teachers can continue classroom discussions online, give polls to check for student understanding, and award badges to individual students based on performance or behavior.
11. BBC Bitesize is the name given to the BBC‘s free online study support resource for school-age students in the United Kingdom. It is designed to aid students in both schoolwork and, for older students, exams. Bitesize is available on a variety of platforms including the web and mobile phones. A TWA favorite!
12. AAA Math features a comprehensive set of thousands of interactive arithmetic lessons. Unlimited practice is available on each topic, which allows thorough mastery of the content. This website features interactive games that cover basic math, algebra, geometry and graphing.
13. Evernote is a note-taking tool that can easily be synced with a cell phone, allowing teachers to create and share notes on the go. Evernote makes it easy to remember things big and small from your everyday life using your computer, phone, tablet and the web.
14. GroupTweet is a little corner of the tweetosphere set aside for Twitter users who want to communicate privately. It is ideal for teachers who want input or ideas from other educators outside of their network.
15. Scriblink is a free whiteboard that allows teachers and students to collaborate and share ideas in real-time, without the need to register for an account or download software. The concept of diagramming, or tutoring a friend in math, or any other content area brings you the power of free hand expression with anyone, at anytime, anywhere in the world.
16. SlideShare is a web-based tool that allows teachers to upload PowerPoint presentations and share them with other teachers and educators. This slide hosting service allows users to upload files privately or publicly in the following file formats: PowerPoint, PDF, Keynote or OpenDocument presentations. Slide decks can then be viewed on the site itself, on hand held devices or embedded on other sites.
17. Time for Kids is a powerful teaching tool; this magazine builds reading and writing skills and is easily integrated across your curriculum, including social studies, science and math. Time for Kids provides age-appropriate news updates for students in grades K-6 and offers worksheets, quizzes and graphs directly from their website.
18. PBS LearningMedia is your destination for direct access to thousands of classroom-ready, curriculum-targeted digital resources. PBS LearningMedia builds on the strength of public media and is designed to improve teacher effectiveness and student achievement. features educational resources and activities delivered in curriculum packs that focus on specific themes and include links to supplemental material.
19. 4Teachers.org works to help you integrate technology into your classroom by offering a family of online tools and resources. This site helps teachers locate and create ready-to-use Web lessons, quizzes, rubrics and classroom calendars. Also provides engaging on-site professional development for educators.
20. Scholastic Lesson Plans a database of more than 10,000 lesson plans, activities and tools to help teachers engage their students.
- Book Lists
- Book Wizard
- Instructor Magazine
- Lesson Plans
- New Books
- New Teachers
- Scholastic News Online
- Kids Press Corps
- Strategies and Ideas
- Student Activities
- Daily Teacher Blogs
- Whiteboard Resources
22. Discovery Education is committed to improving teaching and learning by transforming traditional classrooms into engaging digital learning environments. Discovery Education Techbook, a series of dynamic all-digital textbooks in science, social studies, and math, brings learning alive. Engaging, standards-aligned rich media and interactive digital textbooks, coupled with professional development and assessment services, take students beyond the classroom.
23. Smithsonian Education provides a broad search to find Smithsonian educational resources that are aligned to national, common core, or state standards. This site offers lesson plans in art and design, science and technology, history and culture and language arts.
24. Smithsonian Panoramic Virtual Tour is a comprehensive virtual tour allows visitors using a desktop computer (Windows, Mac, Linux) or a mobile device (iPhone, iPad, Android) to take a virtual, self-guided, room-by-room walking tour of the whole museum. You can even browse a list of past exhibits, which is included on the ground floor map (see upper right map buttons). The visitor can navigate from room to room by clicking map locations or by following blue arrow links on the floor that connect the rooms. The desktop version includes camera icons to indicate hotspots where the visitor can get a close-up view of a particular object or exhibit panel.
25. FreeRice is a creative game from the United Nations World Food Program encourages students to improve their English vocabulary while working to end world hunger. WARNING: This game may make you smarter. It may improve your speaking, writing, thinking, grades, and job performance.
26. RIA Materials online programs provide language teachers with an audio and video recorder, podcasting program, worksheet generator and exercises. “Rich Internet Applications” project is to create tools that are informed by language acquisition research, and engage language learners in active learning. Using this applications toolset, incorporating speaking and listening into your language class is easier and more flexible than ever! The tools can be used in many different ways: for in-class activities, student projects, homework, or assessment. Because they are tools, not completed materials, they will work with your textbook, language, and level. RIA is a way to help you easily integrate technology into your language class.
27. Flickr: The Commons key goal of this resource is to share hidden treasures from the world’s public photography archives: The Library of Congress, The Smithsonian, the Powerhouse Museum and more and almost certainly has the best online photo management and sharing application in the world.
28. Shmoop offers study guides that are written in a kid-friendly tone by Masters and PhD level graduates. Schoop is a labor of love from people who love to teach.PH.D. and Masters students from top universities (including Stanford, U.C. Berkeley, Harvard, and Yale) have spent sleepless nights dreaming up Shmoop. They love literature, history, and poetry and want to help you use today’s technology and culture to bring these subjects to life for students.
29. LearnZillion offers a free and growing set of Math and English Language resources for grades 2-12 that have been developed by expert teachers, it is a repository of short videos made by teachers for teachers intended to save you time and refine your practice. They have got thousands of lessons with great visuals, and conceptual explanations that both kids and adults can understand, also it supports differentiated instruction. Another TWA favorite!
Overwhelming yes, and no one has the time to utilize all of these resources, and do it well. I cannot keep up with the influx of new innovations, they are happening so quickly if you blink you’ve missed some new wonder. Time to set some goals: learn a little bit about some of the above resources. Find a few that work for you and master them, then teach a colleague. Best advice out there, ask a child or two to learn a new program and then come back and teach you, and eventually the class. Works every time…
Have a favorite resource that didn’t make the list, please share it with us in the comments below.