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Flexing those tech muscles

Updated: Jun 15, 2022

Reading this title makes me think of flexing muscles at the gym, but how can we flex our technology muscles in the classroom? As we know, technology is constantly changing. We need to be up to date and utilize some new tools. Consider implementing these three FREE technology tools in your class.

  • Flipgrid –I kept hearing about this tool after attending many Edcamps this summer. Flipgrid can be used across the curriculum and grade levels to record videos. To begin, create a grid for the class. A grid is a hub or meeting place for the video discussions, grids house the topics for discussions. Once a topic is determined, teachers can use many options to customize it for the class's needs. Some customizations include: when the topic will be displayed, video recording length (it can go up to 5 minutes), description, active state for the topic (visible, hidden, frozen), topic resources (a video, images, etc.), or attachments and links for additional information, and even grade responses with a rubric. Once a topic is set up, the teacher must share the Link with students. Students can record their responses on any platform. It is simple to record a response - Think of the possibilities here! Before class, I had my preservice teachers use Flipgrid to introduce themselves to one another. Flipgrid video responses can be used with fluency, language review, and even take the place of traditional typed response discussion boards.

  • Microsoft Office Sway – Sway can be used to create animated flyers that can be embedded on a class website or linked to in an email. Images from the computer or the internet, text, links, video, embedded codes, and audio can be added to a Sway. Sway can be customized through design and color schemes. Sway can be used across subject areas to create a digital newsletter, an introduction letter to parents or students, or a report or a presentation tool. Instead of using PowerPoint, students can create a Sway for a presentation.

  • Book creator - Yes, the top-rated iPad app is now available for Chrome! Once a FREE account is created, the next step is to choose the book's layout. Images from the computer or the internet can be added. In addition, text, shapes, drawings, and voice recordings can be inserted into the book. Students can publish their work online or download it as an E-Book. Students can create books about themselves to introduce themselves to the class or create book reports that can be shared on the class website. Students can create a book about a historical figure or a specific country. As you can see, the possibilities with Bookcreator are endless!

How do you plan to implement these tools in your classroom? How can you utilize these technology tools to engage students in learning?

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