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.

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