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Friday, August 10, 2012

Tech Resources for the New School Year

The 2012-13 school year begins for me this week as the teachers get ready for the upcoming year, while students will report for school on August 20. Our principal is gung ho about using Edmodo to communicate with students and parents. All teachers will be required to use Edmodo this school year. Based on my previous posts, I am a big fan of Edmodo, though I want to spend some time sharing other great technology resources that will help you during the upcoming school year. I have used and will continue to use all of the resources listed below. I hope they will make your teaching experience a bit better this year!

1. EdmodoEdmodo is a social media platform that allows teachers and students to connect and collaborate. A teacher can post assignments, share content host discussions, post quizzes, and much more. Additionally, a teacher can join or start professional development groups to collaborate with other colleagues from all over the world. Totally Free.

2. Gradecam: Face it...we are living in an era the puts much emphasis on assessments (especially formative assessments). Gradecam allows a teacher to grade multiple choice exams using any webcam or document camera. I began using Gradecam last year and fell in love with having access to student data within seconds. I was able to find out which questions were giving students more trouble, thus allowing me to be more efficient in reviewing material. Check out their video to learn about the other features. Free (though you need to pay to add more tools).

3. Remind101: This website allows a teacher to text message students and parents in a SAFE way. The teacher creates an account and class. The teacher then shares the class code with their students. The students and parents sign up and can begin receiving text messages from their teacher. Neither the teacher nor the students/parents ever see each other's phone numbers, providing a security barrier. If a student does not have a cell phone, the student can enter their email address and receive updates. Totally Free.

4. Screencast-O-Matic: This is a great resource where you can record a screencast and upload it to YouTube for FREE. If you are unfamiliar with screencasts, they are a video tutorial with audio commentary explaining what is on your screen. Thus, the person viewing the screencast sees your computer screen and can hear your audio comments. Because the screencast is a YouTube video, you can share the screencast quite easily. Totally Free (though you can pay to add more tools).

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