Saturday, September 13, 2014

My Top Tech Tools

30 Day Challenge Blog PromptSeptember 13-
Name the top tech tools that you use on a consistent basis in the classroom and rank them in order of their effectiveness, in your opinion.

When I think about the ‘top’ tech tools that I use on a CONSISTENT basis, I start thinking about the tools I reach for every day (my computer, my tablet, and my phone), but those are merely ‘containers” that hold ‘other tools’. What are those tools that I reach for as I’m reaching for my computer, tablet, or phone.

My top tech tool is anything that gives me access to the Internet - (a browser and Internet connection) because that access is access to the resources I need to teach and learn and create and make. With that access, I can can learn ANYTHING or help others LEARN anything. Just last week I was introduced to a video of a man who limited himself to stone age tools to solve a 21st century problem. I was intrigued by this concept, but smirked when I learned that he did permit himself use of the Internet to achieve this tasks. So yes Internet access is #1. I vividly remember the year we got local Internet Access in the Northeast Kingdom. When it was no longer a long distance call to CompuServe, everything changed in my classroom. Students were no longer reliant on me to decide what they would learn or for me to provide them with the pieces of knowledge they needed to learn each day.

My second top tech tool is Google Apps because of the ability it gives me to collaborate with other educators and students. Each of the Google tools provides increased ability to collaborate, whether that be construct knowledge or artifacts together or to complete a certain tasks (with others) in the learning process. Using Google Apps engages me and others into the process of learning by giving us as i allows us to actively participate in the learning process.

My third top tech tool falls into the category of making learning visible and that would be any tool that allows me to take a picture or movie or screenshot so that I can use it to make a concept visible to students or for students to make their understanding or thinking visible to others. For the most part that would be a camera (standalone or part of a phone, tablet, or computer);  I would also put a classroom projector in this category.

These are fairly broad interpretations of the world “tool”, but the function is more important that the specific tool in my opinion.

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