Tuesday, August 13, 2013

9 Tools for Back to School

Here are my 9 suggestions for things you need for back to school:
  1. Your own website: Try my.uen.org as a good too for building a free website, or one of my other favorites, Google Sites, Weebly or EduTecher.
  2. Cloud Storage: again, my.uen.org where you can store up to 3GB of files depending on your status.  You can also store files in SkyDrive, Google Drive or DropBox
  3. Twitter: A Twitter account as a way to get connected to fellow teachers.  Follow #edchat, or any of these. Also follow @uenpd and @uennews and #uennews. Try Paper.li if Twitter feels a bit overwhelming. You can create your own "Newspaper" based on hashtags you like.
  4. A tablet: If your district hasn't provided a tablet, then you can pick one. At this point you can pick your flavor. Make sure your district is ok with you bringing in your own device. But then a Kindle Fire, Android Tablets, Nook and iOS devices all allow you to interact with students, keep track of data and generally make you more efficient.
  5. Class Dojo: This is fast becoming one of my favorite suggestions.  Since so many people have a
    Class Dojo avatars
    smart device (see above) thiswebsite and accompanying App is a huge favorite. You can add in your students and then use the app to give both positive and negative points.  You can then share a code for parents and students to login.  Students can then track their behavior.  I saw one teacher who had a posted a rewards list from 10 points to 250 points. 10 points to change your Avatar to 250 points for a week without homework BONUS: The default avatars for your kids - Little Monsters!
  6. Evernote: The ultimate in notetaking apps. There
    are alternatives to his and there are some good reasons to use them.  Microsoft's OneNote is an exceptional Tool and allows you to keep in Sync with SkyDrive and a variety of Apps. But EverNote has quickly become my favorite because it has an app for the desktop on both Mac and PC also lots of other tools will let you do just about everything you want.  My favorite technique is to use the Page feature to take a photo of physical handouts.  Using Optical Character Recognition Evernote's servers will let you search the contents of the photo you just snapped.
  7. Easel.ly:  This is a great tool for creating visual resources.  It can make a great disclosure, procedures or even a graphic organizer for taking notes, both teachers and students can create with it.
  8. Online Multimedia: Prezi, Glogster, Google Slides, and PowerPoint Web App all allow you to create multimedia presentations and share them online.  Check them out for some great resources.
  9. Finally, Check out UEN.org for a newly updated look and feel and visit one of my favorite pages: http://www.uen.org/k12educator/uenresources.php for a list of all that UEN provides for teachers.

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