Fifty of the best ed-tech products for schools
These 50 educational technology products and services are the winners of our 2012-13 Readers' Choice Awards
eBeam is a portable device that transforms any flat surface into a dynamic, digital workspace, allowing users to interact with whiteboard notes and projected content.
“I’m in charge of delivering technologies to my teachers that can truly make a difference in the classroom,” said Danielle Kazoroski, network/technology associate for Brevard County Schools in Florida. “After conducting thorough research, my principal and I decided to purchase 30 eBeam Edge devices because of [their] open software approach, which allows us to make the most out of the tools we already have [and] provides a path to maximize our technology investment for years to come. Our teachers and students love the technology, because it is incredibly easy to install and use. Every classroom in grades two through six has a device, and many teachers use the eBeam technology to capture lessons and upload content to the class website for continued at-home learning. … Aside from being fun for the students, teachers share that the eBeam technology has measurably improved student interactivity and engagement.”
A free social network just for schools, Edmodo gives teachers and students a secure place to connect and collaborate, share content and educational applications, and access homework, grades, class discussions, and notifications.
“The entire website has made my life as a teacher so much more easy and stress free,” said Taylor Hopewell, a theatre arts teacher at St. Bernard High School in California. “I can connect to my students online, grade assignments in a snap, keep track of those grades, making better use of paper (helping the environment), and most importantly, I get my students interacting with each other. They want to learn, [and] they socialize with each other, asking important questions and having debates. It’s amazing to see the students get excited about learning. I love Edmodo!”
EduVision (JDL Horizons)
EduVision is a full-featured video streaming platform and internet broadcast TV service that allows schools and districts to upload and run video on their websites.
EduVision “enables districts to easily upload videos and make them available through a user-friendly interface,” said Jeanine Gendron, director of instructional technology for Florida’s Broward County Schools. “In Broward, EduVision is being used in two different ways to support the educational community. First, the Department of Instructional Technology has used EduVision to upload videos focused on classroom practices, strategies, and lessons that exemplify how to integrate technology into teaching and learning. Teachers then view and share their classroom ideas, which supports professional learning. Second, EduVision is used to stream school board meetings and workshops in real time. The video streams are made available through the district website and are accessible via a computer, laptop, or mobile device—including iPads, tablets, and smart phones. The videos are then stored and can be retrieved immediately for review. … EduVision has enabled Broward to effectively integrate video streaming and video distribution to provide timely communications to its entire community and has resulted in a positive change in how communication occurs.”
eTeachables (Sublime Learning)
eTeachables are brief, on-demand video tutorials that model effective teaching with various technology tools, to help teachers answer the “how and why” of technology-based instruction.
“The eTeachables … help teachers quickly create high-quality, standards-based lessons that utilize 21st-century tools,” said Anne Callies, assistive technology coordinator for the San Diego Unified School District, which uses the product as part of its professional development for teachers in the district’s groundbreaking i21 Interactive Classroom program. “Everything you need to create your own customized and differentiated lesson is right there. Everyone who has used these lessons has raved about them and how easy they are to implement.”