Day 13 - What are the top edtech tools that I use...
I hesitate to answer this blog prompt because I have to admit to a whole bunch of tech savvy teachers who will read this that I am not nearly as tech savvy as they are. In fact, for a long time, I referred to myself as the "oldest young teacher" when it came to technology. I love chalk. I think that for me, technology scares me and also seems too variable. Chalk is constant. If the internet or network is down, that could really put a cramp in a lesson based on using YouTube or other sites dependent on internet connection. If you go to the computer lab, all the computers might not work to their potential or at all and then what? Call me distrusting, but it doesn't come from just fear--things like this have actually happened. If a piece of chalk breaks, I get a new one. The board is always there and never needs to be calibrated. And at the end of the day, when I have chalk all over me, I feel as if I have the marks to prove that I did my job. That said, (I almost cannot believe I am telling any and everyone who may read this-please don't judge too harshly!), I do use technology and am always trying to find new ways that it can supplement what I do in and out of the classroom. So, here are the edtech tools that I use regularly and actually LOVE.
Google Docs - I love Google docs because I can access them ANYWHERE. I also love them because they make me look like a rock star. Let me explain. I have created documents using Google forms that when my students follow a link will see a very fancy looking form and all I really did was type in a few questions. For an idea, check this out. The other AWESOME thing about this Google doc is that it automatically creates a spreadsheet for me with the students' responses with date and time stamp! I'm still experimenting with all that Google docs has to offer but in the meantime, my students who know me well think I've finally made it to the 21st century.
Twitter - I will admit that I was completely goaded into creating a Twitter account. My 4th period class last year helped me make it because they thought my tweets would be funny and they would get a kick out of that. Well, I told them that if I opened this Twitter account that I would have to use it for academic things as well. And I have. I use Twitter to tweet homework assignments, links to a Google doc and mostly to give them what I have called #twextracredit. This is a weekly extra credit where students have to tweet back to me. The #twextracredit can be to watch a video, listen to a song and answer questions or to use a word in a sentence or to find a picture that represents a word that I give them. I find that many do it because they think it's an easy way to get extra credit and partly because they are ALWAYS on some electronic device.
Wow! I think Margaret was right! I just can't write a short blog entry!