I have been fortunate enough to spend the past two years coaching and learning with teachers implementing a school-wide 1:1 device program at an urban traditional high school. Grounded in the SAMR framework and the 4Cs, I helped teachers with a wide variety of instructional strategies - from setting up a Schoology grade book to planning for Project-Based Learning. Below are the tech tools I used most frequently with teachers to start them on their instructional technology journey.
There are several fancy features that come with the premium version (I absolutely love it), but the free version is still worth using. It is clear that teachers created this tool, based upon how user-friendly and intuitive it is. Pear Deck has this incredibly helpful guide and wonderful YouTube Channel to support teachers on top of built-in helper text as you use the tool. When it came to coaching teachers on technology, this tool had a low learning curve with an incredibly high impact on instruction. If you have a teacher new to using technology, this tool is a great one to start with in your coaching work.
Students can record presentations, music playing tests, explanations of math problems, or anything else that is a combination of webcam, desktop screen, and basic annotation tools. This tool is incredibly powerful for all students, but especially supportive for English Language Learners - giving them a great tool to practice speaking skills. Connected to their Google accounts, students can click to record and then share the link to their video file. The tutorial site is complete with easy-to-use videos and ideas for classroom implementation. From a leadership perspective, this tool is also great for creating easy tutorials, sharing school-wide announcements, and avoiding informational whole-staff meetings.
The power of Google Sites comes in its functionality - because it is a Google product it integrates well with other Google products such as Drive, Docs, Slides, Sheets, MyMaps, and YouTube. Sites are a great way to support students with blogging, organizing information from a research project, or creating a product of their learning.
What are your top tech tool recommendations? Leave them in the comments below!
Mattea Garcia is a passionate educator dedicated to improving instruction by utilizing technology. This blog is dedicated to reflections on educational technology tools, instructional coaching, and educational equity.