I’m no expert – just a classic early adopter who loves to spread the word about brilliant technology tools like social media platforms, resources, apps and more. Every Tuesday I’ll share a tool that I’ve tried or learned about recently, to help you decide what tools you would like to try. I’d love your suggestions on tools to try for personal or business use! In the meantime, check back here each Tuesday for apps I’ve tried out, technology tools and resources both for personal and business use. And here is my first Tech Tuesday post!…
I have a confession to make. I am a wannabe Teacher. So when I had the opportunity to speak to a group of 100 School Board leaders recently, I jumped at the chance. The topic: Leadership in the 21st Century Social Workplace. We discussed the disruptive force of social media on employee expectations and how it can be used internally to engage and connect your workforce (a big focus of Impact99). One thing we didn’t get to talk about, that I think is really amazing and has the potential to revolutionize education for the good, is the role social technology can play in the classroom. There are some amazing social education resources for teachers that I believe can help engage students and parents in education. I decided to make this my first “Tech Tool Tuesday” post.
I’ve been inspired by the way education is being “democratized” through social media with sites like the Khan Academy for elementary school, the newer Knowmia for high school students, and Coursera for university and college courses. These sites are allowing people to learn like never before. Khan Academy and Knowmia allow teachers to curate and create content to teach lessons to students, so that they can get extra help while at home. People who may not be able to afford a college education can log onto Coursera and take university courses from real professors, with real assignments and grades.
Those sites are great for use outside the classroom, but there are other oportunities for teachers in the classroom to teach and engage sutdents and parents in new and innovative ways. Here are three I’ve found that seem like awesome tools:
Education Tech Tool # 1: Edublogs
Edublogs allows teachers or schools to create blog sites for students and teachers to wroite blogs. Teachers can monitor and curate content, the blogs can be personalized with widgets, themes, colours, etc, and you can set the privacy to open, blocked from search engines, or password protected. You can have forums, wikis, and threaded discussions, all monitored by the teacher. It’s a great way to engage your students in creating content.
On Edmodo, teachers can set up groups, post assignments, schedule due dates, share them with parents. They can grade work, recognize achievements with badges, and collaborate with their peers. Students can comment, vote on topics, and engage with each other. Parents can have access to what their kids are working on and can join discuss with teachers. The video below gives a great demo of edmodo and how it can be so useful in the classroom.
Education Tech Tool # 3: Quizlet
This might be my favourite tool I’ve found so far – mainly because of how it began. Quizlet was founded in 2005 by a 15-year old student. He was having trouble learning his high-school french, and wanted a tool for vocabulary learning. He build Quizlet to create vocabulary quizzes, shared it with his friends, and it grew from there. In 2011, according to the site, they had more than 62,000,000 visitors. Students can create a variety of types of quizzes, including those with auditory assistance, drag and drop functionality and more. What a great way to empower and enable students to help each other learn!
Bonus – Education Tech Tool # 4: Coursera
Finally, I’ve already mentioned Coursera, but I am so inspired by this. To think of the possibilities of being able to provide anyone with an internet connection with a university education… that is brilliant! I just signed up for a course on “Leading Strategic Innovation in Organizations” through Vanderbilt University! Join me in the class – it starts in Feb! Check out the TED Talk by Daphne Koller, their Co-Founder, below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
What do you think – is this new technology helpful or frightening for students and teachers? If you’re a teacher, are you using social technology in the classroom? If you’re a student, are you? Do you wish you could? Parents, what are your thoughts?