Digital learning tools are invaluable when they’re used by confident educators. In fact, when used appropriately, digital and mobile learning resources engage students–and they can even help boost achievement.
Online literacy platforms, virtual field trips, STEM simulations and modeling–these are just some of the tools that help elevate instruction in classrooms across the country.
Here, 13 educators share snapshots of the digital learning tools they’re using in their classrooms.
I use edtech in my classroom to differentiate instruction and take my literacy curriculum to the next level. To accomplish this, I use Achieve3000, a digital platform designed to support accelerated literacy growth through differentiated content and assessments. This program gives my class access to digital texts and news articles that are adapted to each student’s independent reading level. I know my students are engaged when many of the article topics result in classroom debates and discussions for later research and presentation. Most importantly, my students are able to track their individual progress on the program. They are extremely proud when they are able to chart the increases in their Lexile levels as their reading comprehension skills improve. Digital learning tools support me in keeping my literacy curriculum current, in tailoring instruction to meet the needs of my students, and in showing my students the results of their hard work and efforts.
By Michelle Downey, English Department, Piedmont High School
Related content: Digital learning is helping this school close achievement gaps
Simply say the words ‘field’ and ‘trip’ in front of a classroom of students, and the excitement becomes visible. While teachers have always known the value field trips bring, we also are familiar with the logistical planning and budgeting that goes into them. Thanks to the power of technology, teachers now have the ability to introduce students to a variety of powerful experiences without ever having to leave the classroom. Free resources from TGR EDU: Explore, a career exploration program from Tiger Woods’ TGR Foundation and Discovery Education, make my field trips more accessible than ever. Recently, I took my class on a virtual field trip to Menlo Park, California, where we received a behind-the-scenes look at Facebook’s headquarters. As a class, we explored some of the innovative careers that fuel the Silicon Valley powerhouse, and modern technologies that gather data to solve problems–without leaving the classroom. These virtual field trips help students visualize their ambitions, see it in action in the real world, and strive for every career possibility.
By Josh Prater, United States History Teacher at Pasadena ISD, Sam Rayburn High School
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