When I took on social studies 4 years ago, it was common to see me lecturing 2 to 3 times a week. I was the one sharing the cool stories. I was the one researching and putting slide presentations together. I was the one doing all the work. I was the expert (I use the term expert loosely).
In the last 3 years, technology has allowed the “I’s” in the above sentences to change to “The students”. Teachers can’t, and won’t, be replaced by technology. But, technology allows the students to become experts, and allows teachers to build relationships. Here are my favorite edtech tools to allow me to work with students and have meaningful, and intentional, conversations:
- Quizizz – a great formative assessment tool that gives students (and me) instant feedback. It’s common for Room 303 to begin a class period with a short practice Quizizz. The quizzes are automatically graded and provide opportunities to give quick feedback to students.
- Screencastify – students use screencastify to make presentations with Google slidedecks or they can use the webcam to create videos. I love having my students use Screencastify to create Iron Chef presentations. We then share the Iron Chef presentations, watch them, and offer feedback. (If you don’t know what Iron Chef refers to, then please read below)
- Eduprotocols – students love the Iron Chef Eduprotocol. This idea is simple – create and share a Google slidedeck covering a specific topic. Each slide has a specific topic with different elements to add. Students share ideas, revise each other’s work, and create a presentation when they are finished. This is all done within 1 or 2 class periods. Do the Iron Chef on a weekly basis to give students repetition – they love it! Here is my example of an Iron Chef – John Locke Edition – click here. Oh – check out Eduprotocols by Marlena Hebern and Jon Corippo – a great book and a lifesaver for me!
- Anchor.fm – this is a great, easy to use podcasting site and app that allows students to create free and easy podcasts. A lot of my students love using this site and creating podcasts related to history.
- Pixton – last year my students used Storyboardthat until a student this year showed me Pixton. Pixton is free and easy to use for storyboard and comic creations. I like to use Pixton with the Mini-Report Eduprotocol.
- Hyperdocs – hyperdocs are not glorified webquests! Hyperdocs are educational journeys that are great for differentiation and student paced lessons. I love the organizational structure and student friendliness of the hyperdoc. Here is an example of a hyperdoc I created about popular sovereignty – click here. Check out www.hyperdocs.co for more!