Once upon a time there lived an English teacher who strongly believed that she has a good command of using digital tools in the classroom. However, after taking the course “Teaching English in the Digital Age” by H. Gordon she changed her mind. The course taught her different ways to integrate technology into the classroom to help motivate students and make learning more fun. Each assignment allowed her to gain an experience on differentiated tools that can be used in the classroom. Let’s have a look on what she actually learned and used:
Presentations are boring! Presentations are old-fashioned! Try something new, refresh your knowledge and engage your students! Try Slido!
Slido is an easy polling application that helps teachers run more inclusive and engaging classes – whether they are live, online or hybrid. If you install Slido for Google Slides you can create word clouds and other live polls directly in your presentation and run a competitive quiz with leaderboard. Your students will see the results update live on your slides.
Google Translate formula in Google Sheets!
Oh, that’s awesome! That will save you plenty of time trying to translate and type words from English into Hebrew/Arabic. What you need to do is just enter a word in one language in a cell, and then use the formula =GoogleTranslate(text, source_language, target_language) in another cell to automagically translate it! You’ll just need to know the 2-letter code for the language: Hebrew – “heb”, Arabic – “ar”.
I wish I knew that before! This tool is a real life-saver!
Don’t forget to check it!
Who doesn’t know Quizlet? Quizlet is popular! Everyone uses it!
But who could tell me that I can export a Quizlet set to a spreadsheet? That I can alphabetize the words and copy them to make a game on Cram? That’s a discovery? Haven’t tried yet? A must!
Did I mention Cram.com? Oh, yes! I bet your students did not have a clue about it! You may create your own flashcards here, study and share. You may export them from Quizlet, as I said before, and make a hilarious game. Surprise your students!
When I do need a presentation, I make it in Google Slides – fast and convenient, with a friendly interface and plenty of features. I also did know that people make escape rooms, but for me it was a real issue to understand how they can send students to another slide. Thanks to the course I tried to make one for young detectives and then I created another one for Shavuot. I can tell you honestly that my students really liked it, when you can press the button and go to the place you need and and then go back whenever you want. Try it, you won’t regret!
N.B. by the way, the “young detectives” logo is made on www.textgiraffe.com – a huge thank you!
Did you know that kids love to draw? Give them the opportunity to make an interactive poster for their presentations or comic strips. I used Google Drawing to let my 6-grade students draw their inventions! Something I didn’t know last year! What a waste of time it was! Try you too, it’s fun!
Are you tired? Hold on, here are some more tools that you probably didn’t know about: Flubaroo!
Flubaroo is also an easy-to-use tool that can be used for basic assessments. If you want to assess student understanding in real-time, if you want to send scores to students quickly, if you appreciate your time, take assessments to the next level!
Still trying to get to another level? Try Whiteboard.fi!
My love! What you need to do is create a class and let your students join, using a link, room code or QR code. Everyone will get an individual digital whiteboard, where they can draw, write text, make notations on images and more. You will see all your students’ whiteboards in real time, so you can follow their progress, while the students only see their own whiteboard and the teacher’s. A great tool to engage your shy students or students who normally wouldn’t bother to answer!
Wanna make them speak? Use Vocaroo!
Vocaroo is simple and user-friendly. The tool can be accessed directly without logging in to an account.
Some students may refuse to record their voices and to send the recordings due to may reasons: they don’t like others to hear their voice, they may be afraid to make mistakes in English, etc.
If they feel shy to present it in the classroom, they may send the presentation to a teacher and not be afraid of others judging him/her. They can also record it over and over again
I really thought I do know about how to use Thinglink and what it is about! But I have to admit I really didn’t. I had to explore it from scratch.
Thinglink is a platform that makes it easy to integrate images, videos, and virtual tours with additional information and links. Thanks to the course I learned how to add text and media, text labels and a content from websites; how to create a tour and (Oh, my!) do a conditional transition.
A great tool for escape rooms!
The least but not last tool that was new for me…
I’ve seen teachers with their own canvas and ideas, but I didn’t know how to make one and what I need it for. With Canva you can create beautiful designs for your lessons, learning materials and activities. You can make posters! Don’t forget to use it and decorate your English classrooms or corners for the next year!
I wish I had a clue in design!
The tool that made this book happen! As you see, it can incorporate text and images. You can also add maps, videos, embed quizzes, puzzles, padlets, genial.ly and more! You can create and share your own books.
This is the tool I want my students to know about and actively use it. It’s awesome! I am pretty sure they will love to create their books and present them.
Thank you for the great teacher training course!
Thank you for your amazing lectures and feedbacks and for being supportive. It was a wonderful learning experience: inspiring, encouraging and opening my mind.
I wish more students joined the class and learned new things from you. I know that good things never last but I hope you’ll start other courses next year as well.
All the best,