Scott Barber, a 7th grade science teacher in the Berea City School District in suburban Cleveland, Ohio, shares five ed-tech tools worth using in the classroom.
I encourage and promote the educational use of mobile devices in my classroom. These powerful and mobile devices need to be used in all levels of education. Students need to experience using their personal devices in an educational setting on a daily basis.
In my science class mobile phones are great for collecting data via pictures/video, conversion tools, as a calculator, and as personal organization/reminders. Moreover, there are an array of educational apps that can be used on mobile phones.
Remind101 is a free web/app texting service for one way communication to parents and students. This useful app has become a critical communication tool that has really bridged the conversation outside of school. Remind101 can transform how a teacher communicates with students and parents.
Twitter has allowed me to connect and share with teachers, educational professionals, organizations, and others to access and share ideas, resources, and information that directly impacts the quality of education in my classroom. Tweets containing data in the form of pictures, graphs, and charts have made their way into the classroom and are part of discussion, analysis, and assessments. I make it a point to model for students that social media can have a positive impact on teaching and learning.
Moodle is an open source virtual learning environment. Moodle broke down the walls of the traditional classroom and extends the opportunity for learning, sharing, collaborating, and communicating outside of the 50 minutes that students spend in my classroom. Students have embraced and taken ownership of our class Moodle resource to realize that active learning doesn’t always need to happen face to face. I can’t imagine teaching without the virtual complement to the regular classroom.
With the implementation of Common Core Standards and Next Generation Science Standards finding a variety of free high quality aligned resources can be challenging. PBS LearningMedia has quickly become my go to content resource.
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Scott Barber is a 7th grade science teacher in the Berea City School District.