Six Exciting Education Tools from SXSWedu

What apps do you use in your classroom? Are there any digital tools that you recommend to your colleagues?

Technology is becoming increasingly prevalent in the classroom, but unfortunately, educators don’t always have time to research the latest education trends. Don’t worry—your association is here for you! Check out this list of six exciting education tools we saw at SXSWedu.

If you’ve used any of these tools, let us know how they worked for you in the comments!

  • Brainly is a question-and-answer tool for the classroom. Students can submit questions or answer other users’ questions, or they can search the question archive for quick info on a topic. The site says millions of students from around the world ask and answer questions every month, and the estimated answer time is just 10 minutes. Brainly uses a point system to reward students for being engaged users and submitting accurate answers. Students can download the mobile app, so they can ask and answer questions in or out of the classroom. Best of all, this tool is completely FREE.
  • Bulb helps students create digital portfolios that they can access even after they graduate. Students can upload videos, images, or text to create collections of their work that they can use to apply to college or jobs. Educators can also use Bulb to publish lessons, or for their personal online portfolios. The site integrates with Google Drive, so moving stored collections over to the new platform is no problem. Users can sign up with a free account or pay $9/year for greater functionality.
  • The video collaboration site Flipgrid is essentially Snapchat for the classroom. Teachers add discussion topics, and students respond via video, both to the original question and to each other. For educators who have a hard time conceptualizing how their students would use this tool, Flipgrid provides ideas for how to integrate the program into a variety of subjects. One “grid,” or online classroom, is included in the free plan. An unlimited number of grids is $65/year.
  • The Smithsonian Learning Lab gives educators access to the Smithsonian’s wide array of online resources. A free account allows you to search the museum’s collections, create your own collections to use in the classroom, or share your personalized collections with students or colleagues. The resources included in this collection are from all of the Smithsonian’s 19 museums and the National Zoo.
  • The progress monitoring tool Sown to Grow provides a digital platform for teachers to set learning goals and communicate expectations with students. Students can use the tool set their goals, track their progress, and reflect on their work and areas of improvement. The goal is to help students become better at self-monitoring and to encourage a growth mindset. You can try out Sown to Grow for free for two months; after that, the price varies based on the size of your class.
  • Write Brain Books turns students into published authors. Write Brain provides illustrated books, and students write the stories, either online or by hand. The site’s Author’s Guide will help students think through the story and develop details. When the story is finished, students fill in their finished text online and order physical copies of the book. Author’s Kits, which include everything the student needs to complete the publishing process, are $43.99.

 

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