15 Useful Educational Technology Tools for the Classroom

15 Useful Educational Technology Tools for the Classroom

We’ve come a long way since the days of chalk slates and classroom blackboards when it comes to education. Technology is making teaching children easier, but as with most things, not all educational technology is created equal.  Here are some of the most useful educational technology tools for the classroom in no particular order.

Elementary — 1st through 5th

1. Scratch and Scratch Jr.

We expect young students to play with blocks, learning things like spatial awareness and engineering. Scratch, designed for kids 8-16, and Scratch Jr. for younger students move these classic toys into the digital age, using the program to teach tech literacy and programming, regardless of their skill level.

This program can work for nearly any grade level.

2.iRead

Literacy can be challenging for some children. iRead is a tech-based digital literacy program designed by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt which uses digital avatars to engage children in reading, with the goal of having all kids reading by the time they reach the third grade.

The idea is to make learning fun, something that’s easier to do with animated avatars and child-centric programming.

3. ST Math

ST Math is an elementary-school math program that is currently used by more than 1.2 million elementary school students across the country.  It uses games to promote understanding instead of just encouraging students to memorize

4. CORE5 Literacy

While testing is necessary, it adds some unnecessary stress to the process of learning to read for elementary-age students.

CORE5’s literacy program teaches reading without the stress of testing, helping students that are having trouble understanding the basics of his core skill.

5.ToDo Math

For young children, between preschool and 2nd grade, there’s ToDo Math, a practice program that contains more than 700 mathematics activities targeted at younger students who might not have the skills for other educational tech tools.


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Middle — 6th through 8th

6. Makers Empire

3D printing is becoming one of the most useful educational tools in early every grade level. Makers Empire is a resource for both teachers and students, giving them the tools to download other people’s 3D printing designs and to create and upload their own, crowdsourcing these creations around the world.

7. CanFigureIt Geometry

Middle school introduces students to the concepts of geometry, and CanFigureIt Geometry gives students and teachers a new way to explore these geometric proofs from a new perspective. Online tools like these help to foster classroom discussion, something that might be lacking otherwise.

At a university level, studies have found that online tools like these help teachers and students foster a better educational relationship.

8. Digital Civics Toolkit

For middle school teachers that are introducing civics to their students, the Digital Civics toolkit provides collection of modules and lesson plans for teachers and students to explore at their own pace.

High — 9th through 12th

9. HoloLAB Champions

Chemistry can be messy, and if you’ve got a large classroom and not a lot of space to work with, hands-on experiments can be challenging.

HoloLAB Champions is a virtual chemistry lab program that can be paired with a virtual reality headset, letting students explore experiments virtually without the need for a chemistry lab.

10. Please Knock on my Door

As of 2019, more states are requiring mental health education for their students to help them become aware of the risks and symptoms of common mental illnesses.

Please Knock on my Door is a slow-paced game designed to teach high school students how to deal with depression and navigate mental illness. It’s no replacement for comprehensive mental health education, but it can be a useful tool.

11. Projeqt

Collaborative projects are a major part of the high school educational experience but until recently, students were limited to things like Google Docs and Microsoft Office Online. Projeqt is a tool that allows students to create massive multimedia presentations.

Instead of just focusing on a slideshow, they can include everything from maps, quizzes, Twitter links and more.

12. TED-Ed

We’re familiar with TED talks, but what if they don’t talk about the topics you’re trying to teach? TED-Ed is a program that allows teachers, students, animators, and others to collaborate to create TED-style presentations of their own. Not only does this make education more interactive, but it also makes it easier for students to become an active part of their own education.

13. GooseChase

Who says education has to be boring?  GooseChase gives you the tools to create a fun, interactive scavenger hunt, adding activities to each task, allowing your participants to earn points and prizes along the way.

Looking Forward

Tech is becoming an integral part of education, and tools like these are fantastic tools for every grade level.

 

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Kayla Matthews is a technology writer and the editor of Productivity Bytes. Her work has been featured on Digital Trends, MakeUseOf, VICE, VentureBeat, The Daily Dot and WIRED, among others. Follow her on Twitter to read her latest posts.

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