STEAM teacher: These are “My Tech Essentials”

These tech must-haves help transition to a transdisciplinary approach to instruction, enhancing teaching and learning across grade levels.

I am a third grade teacher in an urban school district in Kansas City, Missouri. I teach in a 1:1 environment that focuses on STEAM education and Project Based Learning. Currently, the building I teach in is transitioning to a trans-disciplinary approach to instruction that will utilize  a variety of technologies to enhance teaching and learning across the grade levels. Technology is integrated throughout my day and curriculum, and here is my list of five Tech Essentials:

Discovery Education Streaming and Science Techbook

Discovery Education provides so much more than videos. I utilize Discovery Education services across all my content areas with the help of their Spotlight on Strategies feature. Both Streaming and Science Techbook help me better engage my students with interactives, reading passages, exciting lessons and more. Science Techbook walks my students through the 5E model that allows them to dive deeper into concepts. The virtual labs, hands-on labs, interactive tools, and much more have changed the culture of my classroom when we focus on science. All of the resources within Streaming and Techbook are easy to use and comprehensive.


Nearpod is an interactive presentation and collaborative platform that allows for real time assessment of student knowledge. As the facilitator of the Nearpod you can engage students with a variety of ways including drawings, quizzes, polls, matching, and much more. Teachers can create their own content or find content that has already been made and added to Nearpod by other educators. This platform allows teachers to present content at a pace that they set.

(Next page: 3 more STEAM tech essentials)


Classkick is another interactive platform that allows you to assess student learning in real time. As a teacher I set up an assignment and I can see on my own device in real-time what students are doing and give instant feedback. This is very helpful because it avoids misconceptions and students can ask for help without feeling bad about asking questions. As the teacher I can set Nearpod up so that students can help other students as if they are the teacher. A point value can also be assigned to each problem to allow for grading, and using Classkick you can change an ordinary worksheet into something digital and grade it as students work and not have to wait until it is completed.


When it comes to green screen apps there are so many that you can choose from. I prefer DoInk simply because it is easy to use and the students are able to work on it on their own. Students are able to figure it out with little help from me as the teacher. DoInk allows students to show their learning in a creative way that is not simply writing a report or making a PowerPoint. With DoInk the only limitation is the student’s imagination.

Greg Tang Math

Greg Tang Math is one of my favorite sites to have my students go to not only if they need remediation, but reinforce skills that students already have. This site is great for all ages and offers a variety of problems for students to choose from. The games that Greg Tang has created keep students engaged and it can also bring out that friendly competitive spirit. There are also resources for teachers that show Greg Tang’s strategies so you are not having to create your own worksheets.

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