Day 13: RT – technology tools in the classroom

Name the top edtech tools that you use on a consistent basis in the classroom, and rank them in terms of their perceived (by you) effectiveness.

It’s almost sad that as a technology teacher I’m struggling with this question.  I can’t decide what are my top tools, at least I think that’s my trouble.  As a whole district we have begun using Google Apps for Education.  My 2nd grade classes last year liked Google Docs so much that when given the choice to create a new document they chose Docs over Word 80-90% of the time.  My current fifth graders much prefer starting their presentations in Google presentations and then downloading to Power Point to finalize.  I haven’t yet set up Google Classroom but it’s on my to do list.

For keyboarding instruction, the major component of my second grade classes, with several hours in 4th and 5th grade as well.  My classes use typingclub.com.  I have found this to be an excellent resource.  Kids can work at their own pace.  They see their scores and I have students who decide they’re not happy with the minimum score acceptable so they redo levels to get a higher score.  Each class begins with students logging in to TC and completing two lessons we then move on to whatever else we’re doing that day.  It’s been a great way to keep their knowledge growing throughout the year.

To asses typing skills we use the 1 minute typing test at Typing Test.Com.  Students take the test each month to see how they are progressing, we keep track of their WPM in both a chart they keep and on our classroom wall.

Another major component of my classes is computational thinking.  I have used Botlogic, Tynker, and Code for this but I much prefer Code.  I love the lessons they have laid out especially as they now have 3 courses available.  There are some fun paper activities as well as online puzzles and best of all each level now ends with an assessment of sorts, students have to do a multiple choice question and a matching question.

Kidblog is another favorite for me.  The tech teachers at the other two feeder schools for the middle school in this area of my district and I created a Kidblog last year for our fifth graders to begin to get to know one another.  They had to practice typing skills, digital citizenship, and online safety.  It was a great tool and the kids really enjoyed it.

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