Top Tech Tools Teachers Must Understand Today

  • It’s a world of tech tools like smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops and notebooks, Clouds, collaboration, social networks, ePublishing, eBooks and blended learning. And teachers now, more than ever, need an overview of the application that such tools present to a curriculum.

    These tech tools, while taking some willingness to learn will help ease teachers into a pedagogy that accepts and embraces the inevitable move to a 21st Century classroom. They are central to Common Core Standards where students are active instead of passive learners.

    These tech tools also blend nicely with Google Classroom, which uses Google applications like Drive, Docs and Folders to further the classroom experience for all parties – teachers and students alike.

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    This includes storing and sharing files, creating and editing Google Docs, slides and forms for quick feedback and interactive collaboration. It also means teachers can plan learning experiences that use the file-sharing capabilities of Google Drive to promote discussion.

    And help is needed to guide the tech-reluctant or novice tech-using teacher towards an understanding of newer tech tools and resources. Now there is a course that does just that.

    A teacher is probably a daily user of technology — sending e-mail, browsing the web and using a computer for basic classroom management tasks such as grading, attendance, viewing assessment scores, doing some online research and creating basic documents.

    But that teacher may have yet to cross the line where instruction and technology merge to meet the needs of today’s social, collaborative and creative digital student.

    Using the text, “Cool Tech Tools for Lower Tech Teachers”, the course guides participants through an understanding of basic tools including web access, laptops and mobile devices before looking at the student-centered use of those tools through engaging and empowering resources, creative and collaboration resources and social learning and networking resources.

    “As technology integration continues to increase in our society, it is paramount that teachers possess the skills and behaviors of digital-age professionals,” says Joe Herz, who is teaching the course.

    Learning tech tool objectives

    Participants in the course will have the opportunity to learn about and show their understanding of a variety of technology tools and online resources that help create a student-centered classroom experience.

    These opportunities include learning about the following with tech tools

    • The basics of WebQuests and how to create a basic plan for using a WebQuest to supplement a curriculum
    • Blogs and wikis: Participants will post comments to an existing blog and wiki Basic tools such as web access, laptops, and mobile devices
    • How cloud computing works. Participants will post content to existing cloud documents
    • Basic tools such as web access, laptops, and mobile devices
    • About online blended classroom learning websites
    • Capture content from a computer screen to use for tutorials
    • Create online shareable multimedia files, posters or presentations
    • Make online audio radio-show-like files on a single subject
    • The use of online social publishing sites to post and read the work of writers from young to old
    • Collaborate on projects at any time from any online-capable device
    • Develop simple animated avatar objects for use in class discussions and research
    • Create professional level video presentations to post online
    • Uses of common and secure social networking sites for educators

    Participants in the course will interact with the instructor as assignments are completed, post work to a shared discussion forum and view, edit and create online documents and projects.

    If you want to learn more about using online tools in the classroom and how it dovetails with classroom management, see the full description here.