15 Useful Educational Tools Every Teacher Should Know About

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Image courtesy of: Dan Spencer


Today, we’ve seen a massive influx of technology being used in the academe. It was evident that the use of digital devices in the classroom boosts student learning and participation in class. Based on the 2013 PBS Learning Media study, 74% of K-12 teachers in the United States are now employing the use of mobile tech (mTech) to create digital lesson plans and keep their students motivated. However, for educators who are yet to take the digital leap, one of the greatest obstacles that you may encounter is the difficulty of managing and leveraging your tech-infused classroom. That is why for this entry, we’ll equip you with a rundown of the useful educational applications that you can use in pursuit of your digital teaching venture.
1.  Planboard
Touted as “the best way for teachers to organize their day,” the Planboard app is a simple and easy-to-use program to create your daily lesson plans. Text here can be formatted according to your desired typeface and you can even embed videos and reference links to your lessons. Completed plans can be exported into PDF and shared via email.
2.  LearnBoost
LearnBoost features an attendance checker, digital grade book log, a class period scheduler, and a detailed view of your students’ individual progress. You can also share its content to your students and their parents through email or Facebook.
3.  Edmodo
Pretty much like the social networking platform Facebook, Edmodo  is used it to share educational contents, blast homework, and notify your students with their grades and progress. With its Edmodo quiz builder feature, you can create digital exams that can automatically be checked upon completion. It is “a safe and easy way to connect and collaborate” with your students; a learning platform made by teachers for co-teachers, the news release from Verizon wrote.
4.  Animoto
Animoto is an all-in-one video-editing tool for teachers. Unlike movie-making software for PCs, it doesn’t require a complicated editing process. All you have to do is to insert a photo or video, then customize it with your preferred style and animation. You can also overlay a text or record voice narration for your completed projects.
5.  Knewton
Knewton is a site that customizes online learning content based on your students’ individual needs. To measure their level of proficiency and literacy, they will have to take an evaluation exam using Knewton, and a learning pathway will be suggested by the tool.
6.  iCivics
iCivics is a web tool to teach your students about civics in a child-friendly manner. It’s very engaging in nature, too, as the platform offers games wherein they can run for presidency, pass new laws, and argue on real-life cases.
7.  Teacher’s Assistant Pro: Track Student Behavior
This handy tool will help you record and track their individual behavior, actions, and class achievements. In here, you can easily remember records of your students who are habitually tardy, underachieving, missing homework submissions, and more. For a more thorough documentation, you can use color codes and attach an image to your records.
8.  Socrative  
Socrative gives you the most comprehensive student response system with a wide variety of quizzes and class exercises. You can utilize it to create multiple choice, true/false, short answer, or space race type of exams that runs on tablets, laptops, and smartphones.
9.  Khan Academy
Khan Academy provides one of the biggest eLearning resources where you can browse quizzes and creative presentations in the following subject areas: Math, Science, Arts, and Humanities. These digital contents are categorized per year level (3rd grade to 8th grade).
10. BetterLesson
This Web 2.0 tool offers a collection of over 3,000 plus complete K-12 Common Core-aligned lessons from over 130 master teachers. Better lesson may come in handy when you run out of ideas for your lecture and/or you wanted to try other methods used by your fellow educators.
11. Schoology
Schoology gives you the power to manage your class calendar, blast content with your students, and connect with other educators online. With its Facebook-like features, your students can create a group and collaborate with each other in or outside the campus. You can also set up a calendar for upcoming events like decathlons and they will all be notified at once.
12. EduBlogs
As the title suggests, this application (web and mobile) allows you to create timely blogs for your students’ benefit. You can maximize it for posting announcements, students’ achievements, and class candid moments.
13. Screenr
In case you want to demonstrate app/computer tutorials for your students (ex. how to send your homework using Google Drive), you can use Screenr to record your screen actions into a video clip. You can also overlay audio annotations as you record your actions.
14. FunBrain
If you’re a huge fan of gamification, FunBrain is the biggest web tool that contains a wide collection of curated educational games. They are categorized into Math, Reading, Fun Arcades, and Playground.
Educreations is an iPad application that lets teachers create videos to teach a particular topic. The interface is similar to the Paint app in Windows PCs. Using your fingertip or a stylus; you can create a moving digital sketch that shows how to solve a math problem. Adding a voice narration is also possible with the app.
These are the 15 digital tools we recommended for every teacher. Take note that some of them are mobile applications while some are online tools. Have you tried any of them? Do you have other apps you wish to share?
About the Author: 
Allie Cooper is a tech correspondent and a regular contributor for Techie Doodlers in the UK. She writes feature posts on educational technologies and other eLearning trends in the Academe.  Follow Allie on Twitter: @AllieCooper_18 and Google+.

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