Saturday, November 17, 2012

Don't Forget These Six Gold Standard of Technology Integration Tools

In our quest to find new and innovative tools for technology integration that truly supports positive student outcomes, we can forget about the amazing tools that made us realize just how powerful technology integration can be to facilitate learning.  These amazing sites and resources are still available today and still just as positive in supporting learning!  Take some time and revisit some of these "old" favorite!   They are tried and true tools that make learning interactive, fun, and meaningful!

  1. National Library of Virtual Manipulatives (NLVM) - This resource for Math in grades Pre-K through 12th grade provides interactive tools for math.  Geoboards, graphing tools, balance scales for algebra, clocks for learning how to tell time, algebra tiles, venn diagrams, and so much more is available here and in three languages:  English, Spanish, and French.  With each manipulative, there are instructions for the teacher and the students along with lesson ideas and plans.  It always works and never goes down!

  2. eNLVM - This is a branch of the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives that provides online units of study already created for instruction using the great manipulatives at the NLVM.  Included are adaptive and collaborative tools and lessons.  Registration is free and the reward is a carefully designed lesson/project ready for use in  your classroom!

  3. QUIA - Quia is a paid subscription  (but the best $49 I ever paid in my teaching career).  Even if you don't sign up, you can use any of the thousands and thousands of activities that have already been created by teachers in virtually any content area.  At QUIA, you can create educational games, activities, and quizzes.  The computer will grade the quizzes, record the scores securely, and you can then export them.  You can then create reports based on the results.  Finally, you can have a professional webpage in about 5 minutes with their extremely easy interface.  The students love the activities and the effort by the teacher is minimized because of the ability to upload info once and then use it in a variety of ways.

  4. - You'll find so much at this site!  Rubistar, the well known rubrics creator is on this site.  Another one of my favorites is Trackstar where a teacher can create online learning centers for students that are safe and very effective.  I've had huge success in my classes with Web Poster Wizard, as well.  Here, students are able to create webpages (posters) and the teacher has full control of the process and can display the results for sharing with one click!  This is just some of the many tools available on this one site.  There's writing tools such as PersuadeStar and NoteStar.KidsVid supports students as they create multimedia projects.  For teachers, there is Teacher Tacklebox, CasaNotes, PBL Checklists, Equity, Classroom Architect (for planning the setup of your classroom but makes a great Math tool, too), and Quizstar for creating exams and quizzes that are graded by Quizstar and securely stored for export by you.

  5. BBC Learning Online -  The site has been revamped but the quality remains the same.  Features such as Bitesize interactive activities and their many other activities makes this a site to include when looking for excellent, interactive content for your students.

  6. LearnAlberta - This is a site developed by the Government of Alberta for teachers in Canada.  Not every resource is available to those who aren't teachers in Canada but there is plenty of good stuff for grades 1-12 in any content area.  From the LearnAlberta Home Page, you can search for Subject, Grade, and Keyword. Once results are given, be sure to search for the language of your choice.  You have the choices of English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, and Ukrainian.  The resources are interactive and most include a teaching, guided practice, and independent practice component along with worksheets that go along with the instruction.

If you have more ideas, please share them!  I'd love to add to the list of those sites that set the bar high for instructional technology tools and have maintained their standards and their excellence.

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