Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Day 13: My Blogging Challenge

Welcome to day 13 of my blogging challenge! In case you missed what it's all about, you can read more about it in Day 1.

Today's challenge: Name the top edtech tools you use on a consistent basis and rank them in terms of their perceived effectiveness.

Can I just say: Google, Google, and more Google?

It's no secret that I'm a lover of all things Google. I think it's more than just Google - it's a way of thinking that their products evoke. They encourage collaboration, creativity, and more - the things we want our students to do. So, with that disclaimer, here's a few that I love.

1. GAFE - Google Apps for Education. If you're not using it at your school district, you should. And, guess what? It's FREE! Unlimited storage in your Google Drive, email, calendars, websites, presentations, and much, much more. Plus, it has added features of creation, collaboration, etc. that I could ramble on and on about.

2. Google Classroom - Yes, this is a new one, but I've had more "bites" this year than previous years because of this simple product. It's not perfect, but it doesn't have to be. It just needs to be simple, which it is. It's helped many of my teachers transition into Google Drive with ease. It's also helped them remodel their classrooms. And, it did it so seamlessly, without being an added thing to do.

3. For learning - I can't state how much I love Google + Communities and Twitter. I've yet to go to a conference in the past few years that I was exposed to something completely new and that's because of these two networks. Join one or join both!

4. Snagit - I use this tool ALL THE TIME to take screenshots and send teachers quick tutorials. It's amazing and even better that it's a Chrome app and extension.

5. Google Forms - these are awesome tools for getting into data.

6. Blendspace - I love this as an option for creating presentations. Tackk is another Chrome App that is useful in creating presentations (see also: WeVideo, PowToon)

7. Finally...shorten.me. I use this Google Extension every day to create shortened URLS and QR codes. Teachers can put up a doc on the projector, use the extension and students can access the site with ease.

What about you - what are your favorite tools that have a meaningful impact? Oh, don't forget the built-in Google Research tool!!! 

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