When I started out with my blog, I talked a lot about technology. I loved utilizing it in each class, and I marveled at what was available for teachers. Then the pandemic hit, and I felt a technology overload. However, since then, I have found some great tools that I still use with my classes (3rd grade through 8th grade). I wanted to share what I am still using, how and updates that I am excited for in the 2022-2023 school year. (Also- I want to share an older post where I detail when I choose to use technology or not.)
- Jamboard: I love using Jamboard (through Google) to have students brainstorm ideas and for a lot of pre-reading and post reading strategies with various resources. I like it because it is very quick for students to use, and for my fifth and sixth graders, it offers just the right amount of options. They can easily add text, photos, shapes and move them around. (I made a whole post of templates that can be used with a variety of resources. I made the backgrounds on Canva– free for educators- which I also love to make my own resources!)
- While Jamboard itself doesn’t have any updates for next year, Canva does have some amazing new templates for educators! If you search in the infographic section, mind maps, whiteboards- they have some amazing new templates that are easily edited. (Just check out one of the options below that could be used in multiple instances in the language classroom!)
- I use Quizizz both as an online game and for lessons! I love it for my younger students because it is easy and quick for them to play. My middle school students love it when we are reading a chapter of our novels, but it can also be great for a pre, during and post reading activity since you can embed information and a variety of questions throughout the presentation. The lesson question options have gotten more elaborate. Now, students can draw their answer or provide a longer answer. The most exciting update is that now you can import Slides from Google Drive!!! This is amazing as I already have some of pre-prepared lessons to use and would love to make them more interactive with Quizizz! You can also teleport questions into lessons now like you could with the games. (This is also a reason why I love Quizizz- it is so easy to use material that exists and customize it for your students.)
- I love Pear Deck as well for presentations, and Pear Deck vocabulary is always a hit with all of my students. I love that Pear Deck vocabulary gives my students specific roles and helps to reinforce vocabulary that we are learning. I know that they are planning a big overhaul for this fall, but I am not sure of the details. If you like Pear Deck like me, sign up here to find out.
- For fun games, my students love both GimKit and Blooket. Blooket can allow any player to win not just the fastest student which engages my students. Plus, most of the games can be played in 10 minutes or less which is great if a lesson ends early or you only have a little time left and not enough time to start a new activity. GimKit has come up with some of my students’ favorite games this past year such as the fishing game. GimKit has also announced that they are revamping the “homework assignment” option which will include Fishtopia and other 2d games. While I don’t assign homework, this is perfect for sub days!
- EdPuzzle is also amazing for language teachers! I have started to use this for my younger students, too where they can log in anonymously, and we can watch a video on the “live” function. Then, they can answer each question, and we can have a discussion around it as well. My database for videos that I have used is linked as well.
- Finally, my last technology tool that I have used frequently on sub days is Flipgrid/Flip. I love that I can have students do work and then record their thoughts onto a video. They also have fun new features to spice up videos- which are also fun to allow students to play around with on a sub day. I like to think of Flip as anything that I would use for a presentational speaking activity- but with more options!