Integrate Technology Effectively! Tip: Find the Right Tool

In my new book, Hacking Digital Learning Strategies: 10 Ways to Launch EdTech Missions, students create various digital projects to make a meaningful impact on their communities and the world. With web tools and apps students can demonstrate their learning by creating videos, podcasts, digital stories, multimedia posters, ezines, ebooks, comics, games, interactive images, infographics, and so much more. But before students embark on any digital project, you need to find the right tools.

Edshelf is my favorite website for discovering educational web tools and apps. Edshelf is a search engine for web tools and apps and many have teacher reviews. You can filter by price, platform, subject, age, and category. No registration is required, but if you register for a free account then you can save your favorite web tools and apps to virtual shelves.

These are important points to consider when choosing the right tool:

  • Do my students have access to the tool when they leave my classroom?
  • Is the tool user-friendly?
  • Is the tool free for students?
  • What are the age restrictions?
  • Is it COPPA compliant?
  • Can students embed, download a copy, or publish their projects for free?
  • Does the tool provide easy options for collecting student work?
  • What are the privacy settings and can I adjust them to match my needs?
  • Is the tool safe for students to explore without my guidance?
  • Do students have to register for the tool?
  • Can I create student accounts?
  • Can students use this tool to create different products or will learners only use this tool for one project?

The idea is to limit the amount of tools students have to register for, learn, and use. Limiting students to a few web tools will save you time and prevent some hiccups.

Get your copy of Hacking Digital Learning, The 30 Goals Challenge, or Learning to Go. Ask me about training your teachers, ShellyTerrell@gmail.com!
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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell), Facebook.com/ShellyTerrell, and on her blog, TeacherRebootCamp.com, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at https://www.slideshare.net/ShellTerrell/presentations

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