Graphite, from Common Sense Media, previews its Top Tools of 2014 list

tech-toolsSome of the year’s top ed-tech tools include a free slideshow creator, a reading tool with embedded assessments, and an adaptive math practice game. How many of 2014’s top tools have you used?

During an edWeb webinar, Ruth Okoye, a Common Sense Graphite Certified Educator, offered insight on five of the top ed-tech tools from Graphite, a free service from Common Sense Education that helps educators choose tools and resources for students.

Okoye also is the Communications Chair for the ISTE Ed Tech Coaches Professional Learning Network and is a technology resource teacher for Portsmouth Public Schools in Virginia.

“The idea of finding apps is sometimes like finding a needle in a haystack–there are lots and lots of them,” Okoye said.

1. Shadow Puppet is a free video slideshow creator for elementary school students. It’s available for iPad, iPhone, and iPad Touch.

“Digital storytelling is something a lot of people are doing,” Okoye said.

The app uses photos from a user’s camera roll to tell a story.

“The EDU version comes with a host of ideas and ways in which educators might be able to use the app,” she said. Students are able to search the Library of Congress, museums, and landmarks, which lets them use those pictures in a personal story or in a history project.

It’s also ideal for appsmashing–combining two apps in a project or lesson.

(Next page: Four more top apps and tools)

Laura Ascione

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