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Thursday, September 13, 2012

My Tech Tool Arsenal

Thank You PoliticalCartoons.com
I have been extremely busy over the last month getting back in the swing of things. I am working hard trying to balance teaching and becoming a better teacher, while spending quality time with my family and friends (and getting in some exercise when I can). Thus, I haven't had much time to test out any new websites or software, though I did want to write a post about the technology tools I am currently using on a daily basis. Many of these are tools you may already be using, while some of these items I have written about in previous posts. Nevertheless, perhaps you will find a gem in my list that will make you a more effective teacher.

Here is a list of some of the tech tools I use nearly every day:

- Edmodo: a terrific social networking site for teachers, students, parents and administrators. I am still becoming more adept with Edmodo.

- Dropbox: I love my cloud storage! Dropbox is a very reliable way to save files and open them up anywhere instantly.

- GradeCam: I love grading multiple choice quizzes and tests using my webcam...Even more, I love the incredible data I receive instantly. I am able to analyze which concepts students are struggling with and reteach IMMEDIATELY.

- GoogleDocs: we use Google apps in our school system...I love being able to use the forms to gather information. I also love how students can have access to word processing software for free!

- Twitter: I joined Twitter late, but I love having news articles come to me. I often find relevant articles to use in my classes. I haven't used Twitter much for professional outreach, though I see this becoming more important down the road.

- Quizlet: This is a great resource that keeps getting better. I am promoting my students make flashcards and study their vocabulary using this free website. They came out with a great app that allows anyone to study vocabulary no matter their surroundings.

- Politicalcartoons.com: As a US Government and Politics teacher I regularly show my students satirical cartoons to present serious issues. The cartoon above is a great portrayal of opportunity cost (and it might make you giggle).

- Screencast-o-matic: I wrote about this website last month, but I love how anyone can publish a video explaining ANYTHING and send it out to the world within minutes. I am traveling this year for weddings outside the USA, and I plan to make screen-casts to help my students stay on task even while I am out of the classroom.

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