Popular social platforms like YouTube and Twitter, unheard of ten years ago, are now part of everyday life and classrooms as well. Dozens of new sites and online resources are currently being developed to help teachers solve problems and promote students’ progress in unimaginable ways. These new forms of communication, organization, and education help both teachers and students become more efficient as learning becomes easier and more enjoyable. Here are ten platforms, recommended by teacher education professor John Wilkinson, for teachers and students to check out.
1. Google for Education
Google for Education offers a variety of ed-tech resources for teachers, including classroom uses for email and collaborative apps, videos and lesson plan searches to add interest to the classroom, professional development to strengthen teachers’ skills, and educational grants for project funding.
Teachers and students will appreciate this tech tool, as it offers a Facebook-like environment where classes can connect online. Edmodo delivers all digital content in one place, making apps available that personalize learning for every student, helping teachers amplify their lesson plans and integrate seamlessly. Watch the video on Edmodo’s About page for a demonstration. Also check out a full Edmodo spotlight on the McKay School Alumni site here.
EduBlogs offers a safe and secure place to set up blogs for both teachers and classrooms. Edublogs are secure for all kinds of communication and learning resources. You can create a class or student blog, initiate online discussions, produce a news source for your class, post videos and documents on the blog, etc.
Encourage your students to work together to learn class material with an online study site like OpenStudy. Hundreds of helpers are available online at any given time. Most questions are answered in five minutes.
Glogster is a social site that lets users mash up music, photos, videos, and pretty much anything else they’d like. Teachers can easily create learning materials, and students have what they need for creative projects.
TED-Ed has gone beyond creating inspiration to include resources. The site contains numerous videos, which are organized by subject to help you teach everything from how pain relievers work to how Shakespearean characters insulted each other.
You and your students can use Popplet to brainstorm ideas, create mind maps, and collaborate. You can watch a helpful tutorial about the service here.
With SlideShare you can upload your presentations, documents, and videos to share with students and colleagues. Even better, you can access materials that others have uploaded as well.
Through this tool, you can record and share audio for your students or for anyone else.
10. John Green
John Green, a teacher and Youtuber, has created multiple channels for quick learning tutorials that can be used in the classroom or at home. Learn more about Crash Course through the video here and about Mental Floss through the video here.