The K-12 teaching profession is essential on many levels, and It’s also one of the most rewarding and challenging callings. Despite shrinking budgets and crowded classrooms, teachers are required to ensure that each student learns to give students the opportunity to progress in their studies and to prepare them for success in life, which will impact regional and national economic health.
There’s a lot riding on a teacher’s ability to do a good job.
Fortunately, advances in technology can ease the burden of motivating students to learn, study and complete assignments. When K-12 teachers integrate today’s technology into curriculum delivery, the platforms and applications align with what students use for daily communication and leisure activities, making it easier for them to adapt to the learning method and subject.
Here five of the latest tools in K-12 teaching technology:
Flashcards are teaching staples that have existed for many decades. They’ve been tools for teaching for so long is because they’re easy to use and they work.
Flashcard Machine is a free app that allows teachers and students to create flashcards to use in the classroom, or as students study in groups or at home. The app has a large database of flashcards to use, or teachers and students can customize them for individual use.
This useful platform leverages students’ interest in social media and video, making them excited to use the platform to complete assignments and learn. Teachers can assign a project or pose a question on FlipGrid and students respond by video. The platform is so easy, students of most ages can use it. Teachers moderate the platform and control who has access to the group.
FlipGrid can create collaborative opportunities beyond the school. Teachers can open the platform to other educators and students on a national or global level, which allows students to collaborate with students in different countries or U.S. regions. FlipGrid is available on most devices and the cost to teachers is $65 per year, or a school can purchase a subscription for $1,000 a year.
Cultivate students’ First Amendment and media literacy skills with NewseumEd.com. This tool for teaching offers a wide range of aligned primary sources, news artifacts, virtual classes and programs to put current events in historical context. Teachers can access free articles, handouts, maps, etc. NewseumEd is the perfect site for subjects such as social studies, civics, news media and history.
This game-based learning platform allows teachers to create multiple-choice learning games that are best played in groups. Educators can add videos, images and more to make the subject matter more engaging.
The gaming environment encourages collaboration and discussion among students. This tool for teaching is free to educators.
Finally, a resource that allows teachers to “reword” lesson plans and articles to fit within their curriculum. When teachers find the perfect articles to share with students, but they’re written to address students at a higher-grade level, all that’s required is to copy and paste the article into Rewordify.com.
Don’t let the unappealing, low-tech look of the site stop you – Rewordify automatically adjusts the language and terms to match the grade-level the teacher specifies.
Rewordify isn’t just a resource for teachers, it can help students keep up with reading comprehension by highlighting terms students should know at their grade-level.
There are many more tools for teaching like these, that streamline course preparation, diversify classroom presentations and encourage students to work with technology to keep in step with today’s technologies. And, many are free or low cost, so they don’t stretch a public school’s budget.
Current or future teachers who want to add advanced skillsets and up-to-date knowledge to their teaching toolbox will find a quality curriculum at Southern Nazarene University. In addition to the Bachelor of Education, SNU offers a graduate Educational Leadership degree for individuals who want to continue in the classroom or move into district administration. Learn more on our website.