2021-2022 Keep, Lose or Try
This post is week 6 of 8 in the #8WeeksofSummer Blog Challenge for educators. This time I'm looking into what I will keep, lose or try in the upcoming school year. I really liked this question posed by the Hot Lunch Tray blog: "What makes educational technology a keeper?" To me this is an essential question to address because as we come back to completely in person instruction my goal is to help teachers feel empowered to continue using technology in impactful ways with students and not just say well we are back let get out the worksheets. In order for educational technology to be a keeper for me it has to address the 4 C's- creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration and it needs to be simple enough that we aren't wasting too much time explaining how to use the tool over and over again.
Which Tools Will I Keep?
Canva- 100% yes! This year I attended a session by Kristina Holzweiss, author of Hacking School Libraries and @lieberrian on Twitter. She really opened my eyes to the collaborative possibilities of Canva. Up until then I had used it for students to be creative and incorporate critical thinking. Holzwiess showed me how students can collaborate in real time as a whole group! I was 🤯 mind blown! I had not thought of that... and as I trained teachers they had not realized that either! This addressed the communication and collaboration criteria I was looking for.
Google Jamboard, Slides, Docs, Sheets, etc.- My school community started using Google Classroom and everything just merged so seamlessly with the Google tools. These address creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication 💯.
Screencastify- This was my go to for quick tutorial videos or messages for my school community. So easy to use and perfectly solved the issue of not having to explain again and again. This one is essential to continue to use for daily lessons/ trainings to allow participants choice in how they best choose to learn information. (Read the directions vs watch the directions vs both.)
WeVideo- This was a life saver for me. I swear there is not one video I film that doesn't have a dog barking or one of my kids coming in to ask me something. WeVideo allows me not only to edit these parts out but also to transform my videos for a simple screencast to a video with introductions, text and effects. I would really like to use this with students but I'm not sure yet if our district would consider purchasing it. I get this as a free perk as a Google Trainer. Thanks Google!
Which Tools Will I Lose?
Padlet- While I really like the concept, we don't have a subscription and I think I can utilize Wakelet or Jamboard in a similar way. As an educator I know not everything can be free, but I really have to prioritize what is worth the money to me.
EdPuzzle- I really think this is an excellent tool, but in my role as a librarian I just didn't have a use for this. I don't show students many videos that I need them to pause and answer questions for. I also don't have class rosters for students so this wasn't the best fit for me.
Loom- Nothing wrong with this tool either, but I just really like Screencastify and if that one is working for me I don't really see a need to use a secondary screencasting tool.
Which Tools Will I Try?
Edji- "Live, collaborative reading annotation to engage students with interactive, customizable lessons."
ActivelyLearn- "Engage every student in every lesson with Actively Learn's award-winning ELA, science, and social studies curriculum platform."
Mmhmm- Make interactive recordings.
Here- Collaborative spaces.
What are some tools you plan to keep, lose or try next school year?