I had a chance to join FOX Baltimore to talk about the importance of continuing to use digital tools even though most students are now in-person as well as some tech tools that can help students as we gear up for a new school year.
You can watch the clip here: FOX Baltimore – Back to School | Navigating digital learning
I think it’s critical that we continue to meaningfully infuse technology into our classrooms and lesson design. When used well, technology is a key tool for accessibility, inclusivity, and strengthening relationships.
A couple of the tools I recommended did not make the clip, so as a quick recap of the four tools I chose to focus on:
- Pear Deck is a fantastic tool teachers can use to allow students the time and space to craft a response and share their ideas. It’s an add-on for google slides and PowerPoint that ensures every student actively engages with a presentation.
- The One by Wacom puts a digital pen in students’ hands. I am a firm believer in writing things out, and Wacom tablets allow us to ink digitally using any laptop, whether that be a Mac, PC, or Chromebook. As a math teacher, I have students use Wacom tablets in the classroom so that I can see them solving problems in real-time. There is also a lot of power in students using digital inking in classes like English or History as visual-note taking can be helpful for many students. The power of notes being digital is that they are searchable and can’t be lost.
As a teacher, I use the Wacom Intuos Bluetooth in the classroom, which is similar to the One by Wacom but has Bluetooth built-in so that I can freely walk around the room while still writing on the projector. Wacom has a huge line of tablets, including ones with a display built-in which make writing and drawing more natural if looking for something to use at a desk.
- Microsoft Flip is a video platform created with education at its center. Through threaded video replies, students can engage in discussion, showcase their understanding of problems, and so much more. In math class, I use it to have students create mini video lessons for their classmates to foster a culture of peer-to-peer learning.
- Finally, Kami is a tool that allows you to annotate any PDF with text, drawing, voice and video notes, and more. It also has built-in accessibility tools like a dictionary and read aloud capabilities to help students learn in a style that fits them best.
I think it’s most important that we provide students with tech tools and apps so that they can customize the learning to best fit their needs and thrive in the classroom.