teacher tools

5 Tools No Teacher Should Go Without

teacher toolsToday we’ll have a pop quiz so please take out a pencil and paper.

Our topic covers education tools and how they aim to improve engagement in the classroom.

Bonus points are awarded to those who would like to expand on the topic or share their experience with the tools within the comment section.

You have five minutes to complete the quiz!

Pop Quiz! Do You Know These Five Edu Tools?

Today, teaching environments are hugely exciting when compared to yesteryear.

In the typical classroom in 2017, educators have an incredible toolset to choose from. They also have the creativity to deliver courses in a fun and engaging way.

But what are those awesome tools?

Let’s check out some of the most popular tools that no teacher should go without.

1. Google Cardboard

This inexpensive (open source) VR headset has a $5 price tag for a built model. The more adventurous amongst us can opt for a buildable one through free plans.

Google Cardboard is a headset that uses a smartphone to create an immersive, virtual reality experience.

Yes. The future has well and truly arrived and it’s coming to a classroom near you!

Though still in its infancy, VR for education has already shown promise.

  • It encourages social interaction and sharing
  • It allows for interactive learning exercises and presentations
  • It provides exploration and “field trips” from the safety of the classroom

Imagine transporting your students to ancient times to cover the history of Alexander the Great.

How about sending them through space to explore the deepest parts of our galaxy?

VR accomplishes that with ease.

2. Minecraft

The game sensation, now part of planet Microsoft, has found its place across dozens of platforms.

Microsoft bought Minecraft not only on the game’s popularity but partly because of its potential as a learning tool.

The Minecraft education edition has features like:

  • Guided tours throughout worlds
  • Classroom collaboration through grouping
  • Lesson examples through interactive games

Minecraft is a successful attempt at the gamification of education.

And, since it’s likely your students already enjoy this game, why not enter its world and explore what it has to offer?

3. Zoom

Zoom is an application allowing its user to host free video and web conferencing for up to 50 participants.

The app, mixed with VOIP lines available from the Polycom Store, creates real-time interaction with students and teachers with built-in tools for sharing files and screens.

Teachers could include this app to develop a platform for study programs or parent-teacher meetings.

4. BloomBoard

Think LinkedIn for educators.

BloomBoard is a social platform where educators can share and curate learning resources.

The platform includes features to connect and chat with other educators. It even has a system for earning credits and credentials that are turned into formal credits recognized by some states.

5. Formative

The Formative platform has a game changing feature that’s sure to delight all educators: real-time responses within a dashboard.

This platform allows a teacher to upload or create quizzes, tests, and other assignments.

Its power lies in its intuitive editor.

It allows teachers to add options for written, multiple choice or hand-written responses. All answers are shown as they come in and it has easy controls to grade and respond from within the dashboard.

Imagine seeing what every student is doing on a test at the same time… that’s Formative.

Ok. It’s Grading Time!

If you’re keeping score, you get +1 for each one you know.

Got 5 out of 5 correct? We’re sending you a virtual high five right now!

The awareness of these resources gives a passing grade on our quiz… those who take action get the A+.

Pencils Down, Eyes Up-front

There are 50.4 million public school students in the US.

Each of these students holds a unique learning style and that creates a challenge to keep them engaged.

Edu tools are a valuable resource to improve teaching skills.

It’s daunting to ask more from our educators considering their heavy workload already.

But, the invitation to explore education tools produces a win/win for us all.

How did you fare? Share your experience with these tools or suggest ones you’ve found effective in the classroom with a comment below!