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Best Edtech Tools to try in 2017

Over the past decade, educational technology has revolutionized the way that education is delivered to students.

As technology in education or edtech has grown and evolved so has the range and capabilities of new apps for teachers. But, with so many available how do you know which is the best for you and your students? Here’s a list of EdTech tools and teacher apps that are proven to help you become more efficient, effective and engaging in the classroom.

8 apps for teachers to try in 2017

01. Google Cardboard

Imagine being able to transport your entire class to a different place or a different time all at once. Virtual reality really takes the notion of ‘immersive learning experiences’ to a whole new level.

Enter Google Cardboard, a truly innovative app for teachers. This platform offers users access to virtual reality in a simple, fun and affordable way. All you need to get started is a smartphone and a ‘viewer’, which can easily be made out of cardboard by your students.

Despite the recent hype only 2% of teachers currently use VR in the classroom, so be ahead of the crowd and think about how you could introduce it into your classroom today.

Use this in the classroom:

  • Consider advanced and complex science projects the whole class can experience
  • Take your class on tours of historic sites, countries, cities or events
  • Get students to practice speaking and presenting to an audience
  • Spark a creative idea that could be used to form the basis of a creative writing activity or art project.
  • Access unique material for research projects

Watch these students going on an virtual field trip’ for the first time.

02. iTunes University

iTunes U is one to add to your list of must-have apps for teachers as it gives you the opportunity to grade on the go, hand out assignments and stay connected – all from the convenience of your iPad.

Apple is investing heavily into advancing their EdTech offering and has stepped up its game to deliver an app that  [INSERT LINK THROUGH TO INVESTING IN EDTECH ARTICLE] helps you create unique and personal learning experiences at every stage of your student’s journey. iTunes University has been designed to help make lessons more engaging through the integrating the power of touch, motion and sound.

How can you use this app?

  • Plan and post assignments and lessons to students instantly.
  • Engage your students by uploading videos, documents, links, podcasts, and photos to your assignments and homework projects at the click of a button.
  • Grade on the go with access to work students has submitted via your iPad.

03. Screencast-O-Matic

Free up time for valuable class discussion, analysis, and analysis by using a screencasting tool, such as Screencase-O-Matic. This fast and free screen recorder is that can be a great way to make short videos that cover basic skills or complicated concepts that students can watch back in their own time. Once you’ve finished recording your videos you can easily create a video file to share with your students.

http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/

Give it a try yourself:

  • Ever wanted to go into more detail about a particular topic but didn’t have the time in class? This is a great opportunity to explore sub-topics in depth that students can watch in their own time.
  • Record lesson recaps or refreshers that you share with students before or after your lessons
  • Make a series of short recordings after each lesson and then combine them together at the end of the course to use as a full summary for revision purposes.

04. Prezi

Forget PowerPoint and try Prezi. Prezi is an online based presentation creator that can be used as a visual learning tool which allows you to create maps of texts, images, videos, graphics, etc… and present them in a nonlinear way. Change the way your students present assignments and ideas by moving away from flicking between one slide to another to a more interactive and engaging way of presenting.

https://prezi.com/

Use it in your classroom:

  • Prezi is great for creating mind maps or mapping a thought process visually – great for lesson planning
  • Up to ten students can collaborate in real time using Prezi so why not consider creating a group research project that encourages students to show the connection between different concepts

05.Classe365

Imagine a completely unified platform that enables you to manage every administrative and learning aspect of your education institution.

Classe365 provides tools from paperless pre-admission, student management, learning management, financial management, campus recruitment to alumni management. It even works across Web, iOS & Android apps for ultimate convenience.

https://www.classe365.com/

How could you use this?

  • Improve teacher and parent communication with the dedicated portal available on web or mobile, keeping parents informed by SMS or email.
  • Create fun quizzes, test and assignments online to share with your students
  • Get a real-time view of financial information such as cash flow, budgets, balance sheets and inventory with the financial accounting function.
  • Track the leads, streamline the preadmission process and keep the potential candidates engaged with the CRM module.
  • Provides data analytics to help educational institutions in discovering useful information and aid in supporting the decision-making process.

06.Padlet

Padlet is a virtual wall that allows people to express their thoughts on a common topic easily and is a great asset to any classroom environment – particularly those that have students who don’t always want to put their hand up in class. The team at Padlett have even designed a special version just for schools with added security features, access control, and user management.

Try it in your classroom:

Consider using it as a way to introduce a new topic, wrap up something you’ve just covered or share their thoughts on a group project.

You could have one class Padlet for the year and share resources and links throughout the year. Increase engagement by encouraging students to type, add voice recordings, hyperlinks, photos, and documents.

07.Canva for Education

Canva is one of the most powerful, free, design tools around. It’s a fantastic tool for creating graphs, images infographics, posters, and flyers. With icons, images and pre-designed templates this tool makes designing easy and fun. You can download images to your desktop or share them with another email address.

Get creative in your classroom:

Check out the whole section they even have a whole section of their website dedicated to lesson plans and teaching materials.

08.Smore

Smore is another tool that helps to make getting creative online a breeze. This web-based, digital newsletter, flyer and poster creation tool not only has easy social sharing enabled, but it also has analytics so you can track who’s seen your flyer and when. Easily create eye-catching online flyers for parents and students alike. And with special pricing packages for educators with features custom backgrounds, privacy features, reports and

Super simple to build and enables creators to easily combine text, headings, and subheadings, images, links, videos, and maps into an eye-catching digital flyer.

Ideas for how you could use it:

  • Create eye-catching online newsletters for parents and students with easy to follow templates
  • Produce professional looking reports that can be presented to the board without hassle

There are hundreds of apps for teachers out there, but get started today by giving these a try. Let us know what you think! Are you a teacher, and if so what apps do you use on a daily basis? Let us know!

About Jay Londerick

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