Day 13: Name the top edtech tools that you use on a consistent basis in the classroom, and rank them in terms of their perceived (by you) effectiveness.
For anyone keeping track, I've missed some days here. I'd apologize but I was out doing more fun things so no apologies! And maybe this wasn't a great day to come back to because I've written about this before but oh well. Also, like I've said before I'm extremely picky about edtech. I won't use it if it doesn't enable me to do something better than I could do without it. So while things like edmodo, plickers, or socrative are extremely cool they just don't have enough pay off for me. I teach small classes so it's not hard to get quick feedback from each kid. So if you're looking for some new, undiscovered edtech tools I'm sorry to say you won't find it here. These are the tried and true ones that you probably already know about and use.
So in order, these are my top 5 at the moment that I actually use.
- Dropbox Nothing has made my life easier than dropbox. I got a promotion that gave me a lot of space for free for 2 years and after that I signed up for an account because I saw the value in it. It's on all of my computers and devices and I use it pretty exclusively instead of any hard drive. I know everyone says google drive can do the same thing but for now I just still prefer Dropbox.
- Remind101 I wrote about this one last week or so but it's worth mentioning again because it's definitely at the top of my list. It's just one that makes my life so much easier. I seriously use it all the time. I started using it to text the homework so they didn't forget but now I just use it for any little thing. I also run a club where I need to stay in touch with kids I don't teach so it's perfect for passing on information to them, telling them when meetings are, or when I need help with stuff. I send a text and within minutes kids show up to help with whatever I need. Sidenote: I do know that it's only called Remind now, but I like the 101. It makes it super hard to search for help or things using just Remind since it's a common word.
- Weebly I use this for my class website and it's great. I used to use Yola and really liked it but one of the new teachers last year suggested this one and I think it's much better. It's simple to use and so far I haven't come across anything it can't do that I need.
- IXL I use this one pretty often because the kids generally like it. It doesn't offer rich open ended questions but I think it's good for skill practice. My district has a subscription so that's really where the value is for me. I wouldn't use it as much as I do if I only had the trial accounts. It tracks everything and progressively makes the questions more challenging as the kid progresses. The kids usually like when I give them a handful of sections to choose from and let them work on the areas where they need work.
- Google Drive It's not far enough up on the list to top Dropbox, but still has a place as one of my most used. I probably love using Forms the most. It's the best, quickest way for me to gather information from a group. Sharing and being able collaborate on Docs and Sheets has been very useful to use with my club officers. I'm also liking that Docs can be saved to PDFs and I like their attempt at offering to convert Docs to Word documents but it still doesn't work seamlessly enough for me.